On Tuesday during an online exordinary assembly hosted by the CAF, the African Football governing body, it was confirmed that Uganda had withdrawn from hosting the 2020 AFCON Beach Soccer tournament hat had been scheduled for December this year.
But why did Uganda withdraw from hosting Africa’s prestigious beach soccer tournament?
During a press briefing on Thursday 2nd July, 2020, FUFA communication manager Ahmed Hussein Masha confirmed that the country had withdrawn from hosting the tournament because of the challenges resulting from the Coronavirus crisis.
“FUFA wrote to CAF informing them of the challenges the country is facing due to COVID-19 as we have the AFCON Beach tournament later in December,” Ahmed Hussein said during a press briefing.
Hussein adds that FUFA had to take a decision as soon as possible.
“It’s a tough moment and decision done by FUFA but as you know between March and end of this month, there were several activities that were supposed to be conducted by CAF but all these weren’t possible because they had to come here and make inspection on those activities that were lined up by the federation.”
“Since all that wasn’t possible and available, we had to take a decision as FUFA to withdraw from hosting the 2020 Beach Soccer tournament.”
He also says it’s a big blow for the Sand Cranes and the Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA) but he is optimistic another opportunity will come up soon if the institution welcomes it.
“It’s a big blow for the Sand Cranes who have put in alot and for the Uganda Beach Soccer Association and FUFA who had prepared much for the success of this tournament,” He says.
“We were going to learn alot from hosting a big international tournament, bigger than CECAFA but we believe there will be another opportunity soon depending on how the institution welcomes it.”
“We thank every stakeholder who played a huge role in getting the public sensitised and get to know about beach soccer and the tournament itself,” Ahmed Hussein concluded.
The Uganda Sand Cranes took part in their first AFCON tournament in 2015 being eliminated by Ghana during the qualifiers.