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 Post subject: Kai, Only in CAF Footie!
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 12:52 pm 
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Quote:
Tabula, ex-Cranes players reflect on Uganda vs Rwanda marred by ‘Juju’ in 2003



by ISMAEL KIYONGA
APRIL 20, 2020


The Uganda Cranes have been involved in lots of memorable matches but none matches the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda at Namboole.

Jimmy Gatete’s solitary goal decided the match to the shock of the fans in fully-packed Namboole stadium and the millions that followed the game on radios and TVs.

Abubaker Tabula became the scapegoat for the Juju incident that sparked a conflict between both sets of players on the pitch as he tried to remove something from the Rwanda goal.



The game had to stop for a couple of minutes and after resumption, Gatete scored the goal that went on to win the game.

Tabula, for the first time speaks to Kawowo Sports about the incident, revealing how it all started.

“We were in control of the game until the moment,” he recalls. “We had missed a couple of chances and also hit the post twice,” he adds.

“So we had a corner and then something hit me from the back. At first, I thought it was a water bottle but when I looked it, it was something tied in a backcloth,” Tabula narrates.



“At that moment, it could be the goalkeeper was throwing this thing at the goal post but since I was close, it hit me and as I tried to pick and see what it was, the scuffle started as the Rwanda goalkeeper fought to ensure it stays. I became suspicious and wanted to throw it out.

Manager Crispus Muyinda was also behind the goal and wanted to remove some gloves.

The former KCCA and SC Villa left back who started as a left winger in that game also recollects the dressing room reaction after the game.

“We were so down and dejected after the loss with such a good performance. We had all the chances to win it but they had one [chance] and got the goal. But despite the disappointment, we just gave ourselves hope since we still had a chance, went to Ghana, led the game through Asan Bajope but we conceded a late goal and eventually missed out on qualification.

Uganda had drawn goalless away to Rwanda and to the shock of many Ugandans, Paul Hasule who was in charge was sacked and Argentine Pedro Pasculli was hired.
Image


Paul Hasule won two doubles at SC Villa. He also won two as a player with the Jogoos Credit: Daily Monitor
It’s a decision that Tabula feels had an adverse effect on the team’s results in the games thereafter.

“It was a very big mistake from the FA in my opinion. Although Pasculli was a good coach, Hasule knew the team very well and we had spent much time with him.

Phillip Ssozi who started at the right side of attacking midfield in the game and had his two shots beat the goalkeeper but not the post also divulges into the games’ incidents, pre-match and the post-match reactions.

“From the camp, we were all focused on the game,” Ssozi told Kawowo Sports. “But I believe it was a mistake playing a friendly against Libya three days before such a crucial game,” he continues.



“It was a high tempo game and took a lot from us as players in terms of freshness and energy levels. On the game proper, we were disorganised by the rains and the pitch was heavy but still, we had a good performance.

Ssozi is currently one of the coaches at SC Villa and has a belief that there was a mistake in the line-up and like Tabula; he agrees that replacing Hasule, his coach at Villa Park then, was a big mistake.

“I still don’t understand why Peter Lwebuga started at left back ahead of Tabula who was pushed up front as a winger and by the way, we conceded from a cross from that side. Two, the sacking of Hasule was a huge mistake because we couldn’t understand Pasculli since he didn’t speak English.

The FA hired a female interpreter, a Ugandan female who had lived in Italy before and Ssozi jokingly admits she disorganised the camp with indecent dress code.

The lady interpreter was indecent and some players concentrated on her indecency than what information she provided from the coach and most boys lost concentration.

Back to the Hasule sacking, the winger who mastered the art of playing on both flanks apportioned blame on the FA as well for the defeat.

“Losing Hasule, a coach who had been with many of us from the grassroots hit us. The camp got demoralised and surely, the FA had a hand in our defeat.

Ssozi also doesn’t rule out foul play although he isn’t fully committed to the claim.

“I turned pro that year and went to Serbia. But then, many Ugandan players joined [the] Rwanda league and it left many with lots of thoughts. Rwanda wanted to showcase their abilities as a footballing nation and they could do anything. Who knows? The way some players reacted on the pitch, fighting and not afraid to get bans was shocking.

Hakim Magumba started in attacking midfield and still believes he scored a goal in that match but the assistant didn’t signal goal after the Rwanda defender cleared the ball which the midfielder believes had crossed the line.



He was a subject of blame in the dressing room after the game as he narrates.

“We were deflated and dejected and the dressing room was quiet,” says Magumba. “But some players and officials attacked me accusing me of not celebrating the would be goal which gave the assistant referee no choice but not signal ball had crossed the line,” he adds.

Veteran journalist Ruben Luyombo couldn’t agree more with players on the effect the sacking of Hasule had on the game but reveals the Juju claims started from the first leg.

“Sacking Hasule was a mistake,” states Luyombo. “But the Juju thing started in the first leg with Hasule insisting the Rwanda goalkeeper had put something in goal. In fact, he even brought on striker Fred Okello purposely to remove something from goal but they couldn’t cause a lot of havoc away from home,” he adds.

“At Namboole, Cranes had bias but were playing quite well and I would say they were in control. Rwanda was only sitting back and trying to play on the break although Gatete missed a chance on one of the breaks.

Luyombo also believes the players were anxious and lost concentration in front of goal which Rwanda technical bench and the goalkeeper realised as psychologically, it was working against The Cranes.

“We were anxious for victory, concentration in front of goal was at 30% and we missed chance after chance and all the time, the keeper was touching something. It got to the players’ mind and whenever anyone made an attempt to go close, they would be running battles with the keeper.

“Whoever was having a go at it, he got loud cheers from the crowd so the confusion got to the entire stadium. In the process, we were caught in the confusion and conceded with total lack of concentration.”

In the post-match press conference, Rwanda coach Ratomir Dujkovic admitted they won the psychological war over Uganda while Pasculli revealed he had never witnessed anything like that.

Image


“The Rwanda coach said that they realised it had worked psychologically worked on the Cranes and encouraged his goalkeeper to continue doing it. For Pasculli, he said he had never seen anything like that in his life time. He faked that he was going to attend to a sick mother but later confessed he couldn’t continue working in such confusion.” :lol:

Rwanda team manager who reliable sources reveal was Ceasar Kayizari however dismissed any Juju claims giving another version of what led to the incident.

“Before the game, the players were given bonuses and Muhammad Mossi (the goalkeeper) went to the pitch with his money in his spare gloves which he put behind the goal,” he narrated a few years ago. “So every time he kept an eye on the gloves and once in a while touched them to confirm whether his money was present and the Ugandans misinterpreted him,” he said.

John Carlin of the Guardian in the UK summed up the day very well in his match report.

One Ugandan player charged at Mossi and tried to tear off his gloves. Another started digging behind the Rwandan goal line with his hands, frenetically searching for the offending juju. That was it. Mayhem. The mother and father of all punch-ups. Blood-spattered shirts all round. One Ugandan player got off the bench and hit a Rwandan, Jimmy Gatete, over the head with his boot. Blood poured down Gatete’s shirt from a gash on his brow. Then the police entered the fray. Not to stop the players from fighting, but to pile into the plucky Rwandans, who forgot where they were, ignored the baying crowd, and were giving as good as they got.

https://kawowo.com/2020/04/20/tabula-ex ... u-in-2003/

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