Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has said that the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers will be competitive because there are no more small teams in the continent.
Sredojevic who guided Uganda to return to the AFCON (2017) after 39 years of waiting says Group F where Uganda is placed will equally be very competitive.
In the draw conducted on Tuesday, Uganda was placed in Group F alongside 2019 AFCON champions and reigning FIFA Arab Cup champions Algeria, Niger and Tanzania.
“Someone would look at Algeria as group favorites but in modern football there are no small teams because gaps in African football have been reduced,” stated Sredojevic.
“We are facing teams with different approaches including two Francophone countries in Algeria and Niger then CECAFA opponent in Tanzania. Algeria have had disappointments recently not making it out of the group stage at the last Africa Cup of Nations and conceding a late goal to miss out on qualifying for the World Cup. So these Qualifiers will be a chance to redeem themselves,” reasoned Sredojevic.
He said even looking at the other groups it will not be that easy, but competitive because there is no team to write-off.
The experienced coach who has been in the African continent since 2001 made it clear that he believes Uganda have a chance to return to the big stage of the AFCON.
“I’m calling upon every stakeholder, all the technical people and all of us in FUFA to have a good organization and detailed strategic plan on how we shall approach these games. I’m also calling upon the players who are the producers of results that this is the chance to show that you have what it takes to go back to the Africa Cup of Nations,” he added.
Uganda returned to the AFCON in 2017 in Gabon after 39 years of waiting before they made it again in AFCON 2019 in Egypt where they reached the last 16 losing 1-0 to Senegal.