Uganda: The Golden Jubilee Gift That Never Was

As Uganda was celebrating 50 years of independence on 9 October 2012, everyone was hoping that qualification for the African Cup Of Nations would be the best gift Ugandans would get. It never happened.

Although the Federation of Uganda Football Association sold tickets at 40,000 Ugandan shillings ($16) ordinary, 75,000 Shs ($30) Gold and 120,000 Shs ($48) Platinum, Ugandans turned up in large numbers for the match.

Official poster for Uganda versus Zambia game. Image courtesy of Uganda Cranes Facebook page.

On Saturday 13 October, Uganda Cranes took on Zambia's Chipolopolo. After 90 minutes, Uganda was leading 1-0. The game had to go to penalties because Uganda lost to Zambia 1-0 in the first leg. The penalties ended with Zambia beating Uganda 8-9. This made the loud Mandela National stadium and entire Kampala City go silent. One could hardly hear a single Vuvuzela or whistle blow.

This means Uganda now has to wait for the Africa Cup 2015 qualifiers to try out its luck. Ugandans as always took to Twitter to express their feelings and here are some of the reactions.

Patrick Mugumya noted that some journalists are happy for this loss:

@mugumya: And as expected some journos are very happy that the national team didn't qualify. Pathetic lot #UgandaCranes

He asked people to leave out president Museveni as some blame him for the loss:

@mugumya: Good morning #Kampala I hope today we shall have a rational discussion on #UgandaCranes keeping out Sevo, he didn't play wont ever play

Tumwebaze Josephe blames fans who brought a live chicken to the pitch:

@jobaze: Finally I have something to blame for the failure of Uganda Cranes to qualify. This chicken wasn't happy with us!

It is said that Ugandans like partying so much, as Assumpta Nalubega shows that some Ugandan are now focused on Sean Paul's concert:

@mnalubega: Now that #ugandacranes is done n we r over the loss, waiting for tickets for #SEAN PAUL!! I learnt from the best:-) @SemuGoma

Proggie Uganda thinks Uganda has to construct a new stadium as it can not qualify from Namboole:

@proggiug: We need to relocate. We've never qualified from there. RT @oleebranch: Mandela Stadium. The Home Of The #UgandaCranes

Uganda's national soccer team, the Uganda Cranes, last qualified for the African Cup of Nations in 1978 when it reached the finals but finished second. The team came closer to a historic comeback last year.

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