Magogo to Micho: Beat Tanzania or you're gone

 Milutin Sredojevic

Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic (left) and captain Emmanuel Okwi addressing the media at FUFA House, Kampala on June 7, 2022 on the eve of their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger.

Photo credit: Pool | FUFA

What you need to know:

  • Uganda are bottom of Group 'F' of Afcon 2023 Ivory Coast qualifiers with just a single point from two games
  • Uganda must use the remaining four games - a back-to-back encounter with Tanzania in September, Algeria at Kitende and a trip to Niger next March to secure the second place and qualify



Uganda Cranes coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic must beat Tanzania in September or his second coming comes to an abrupt end.

Nation Sport can reveal that the riot act was read for the man, who guided Uganda to their first Afcon finals in four decades in 2017 before a stint away and back, at Kitende on Wednesday.

This was after Mamadou Amadou Sabho's 71st minute strike cancelled out Milton Karisa's first half goal for Uganda's disappointing 1-1 draw against Niger at St Mary's Stadium.

The result left Uganda bottom of Group 'F' of Afcon 2023 Ivory Coast qualifiers with just a single point from two games.

Algeria made it two wins in as many games with a 2-0 victory in Tanzania to move to six points. Niger are second with two points and Tanzania third.

Make or break

Uganda must use the remaining four games - a back-to-back encounter with Tanzania in September, Algeria at Kitende and a trip to Niger next March to secure the second place and qualify.

Right after the draw with Niger at Kitende, Fufa president Moses Magogo reportedly made it very clear to Micho in front of the Serbian's beaten players.

"Beat Tanzania or you are gone," Magogo told Micho before giving the players their own portion of lecture as well.

The above was corroborated to Nation Sport by three different players present in that dressing room.

We cannot name the said players to guard them against any reprisals.

It's the nature of the game

However, Micho himself seemed to confirm the above. He is neither surprised nor cowed.

"That is normal to know even if he doesn't say it," Micho told this Nation Sport on Friday.

"We must qualify and September matches are crucial for Uganda Cranes and myself as the final bill accounting officer.

"We qualify everything okay. If not, then it is clear. Absolutely normal football situation and nature of the game."

The Serbian could get a chance to prepare for the September back-to-back clash with Tanzania as the two are likely to clash in a Chan Algeria qualifier before.

Uganda will face the winner between Somalia and Tanzania, who battle it out in July, in the final round of Chan qualifiers in August.

"Ninety per cent of their (Tanzania) Afcon players are actually playing in Chan matches," said Micho.

"So it will be a warm-up that takes mental advantage ahead of September Afcon qualifiers double header.

"Pressure is my fuel and will take all pressure on myself to enable players do their best and get Uganda Cranes results."

Pressure has indeed intensified on him with some calling for his sacking, arguing his tactics and selection are questionable.

Ivory Coast 2023 Afcon qualifiers

Uganda's remaining fixtures

September, 2022

Uganda v Tanzania

Tanzania v Uganda

March, 2023

Uganda v Algeria

Niger v Uganda

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