Uganda Cranes get $1m end of service benefit

FOOTBALL is both a rallying point and a distraction for different people across Africa. But for many, it perhaps is more the former than the latter.

The fervor allows reprieve of sorts for the political crisis in Burundi, the widely reported human rights crackdown in Egypt and even the security crisis bedeviling Mali.

It is more so because even in countries whose teams are not in Egypt, people are gripped with the fever. On a purely satirical level, we look to draw parallels with political events – past, present – with incidents on the Egyptian fields.

Despite being one of the teams that protested over unpaid bonuses, the Ugandan team that crashed out of the AFCON at the round-of-16 stage have received presidential commendation back home.

Among others, president Museveni has promised a million dollar prize to be shared among the team – call it end of service benefit.

The president in his commentary also spoke particularly about the goal that ended the Ugandan journey. “I don’t know how Senegal got that goal,” he said in reference to the Mane strike in the round of 16 clash.

“I see our players are all fit young people. All they need is more stamina. I thank the team once again,” Museveni stressed.

The AFCON has a number of animals and elements of the solar system participating – thanks to the aliases of the different national teams.

Lions have roared (Senegal, Morocco) in the groups, stars have shined (Ghana) and failed to shine (Tanzania and Kenya). The Desert Foxes (Tunisia) have prevailed whiled the Djurtus (Guinea Bissau) crashed out.

Benin’s Squirrels sprung the biggest shock of the AFCON after dismissing pre-tournament favourites, the Atlas Lions of Morocco.

The Squirrels started off by taking a bite of the Lions who roared back only for a prolonged duration of their exchanges across the Sahara. In the end, the Squirrels proved more potent scarring the Lions and leaving them with a raw sore – they had failed to roar. –

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