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Cranes captain Denis Onyango retires from team after audio leaks

Onyango’s retirement comes hours after an audio leaked where he threatened not to play for the national team anymore
Jonah Kirabo

Uganda Cranes first choice goalkeeper and captain Denis Masinde Onyango has announced his retirement from international football .

In a letter dated April 12, 2021 that he sent to the Federation of Uganda’s Football Association (FUFA) president Moses Magogo, Onyango said that his resignation takes effect immediately.

“It has been a great pleasure and honour to represent my country and I will always appreciate the experience and knowledge that I have gained while playing for the Cranes,” Onyango said in the letter.

Onyango added that he believes that his notice period is sufficient enough for the technical team to adequately prepare his replacement for the upcoming matches.

“By remaining a true patriot and supporter of football in my beloved Uganda, I wish all the best in your future endeavors and challenges,” the letter adds.

After sixteen years of service, Onyango leaves the Cranes camp as the most decorated football player in the country with over 80 international caps for the national team.

He will be remembered for helping Uganda to end almost four decades without appearing in the African Cup of Nations in 2017. Onyango was part of the Cranes that made an appearance in Gabon, before re-appearing in the AFCON finals in Egypt (2019).

During his time with the Cranes, he was named the African Footballer of the Year in 2016 and a three-time CAF XI goalkeeper.

Onyango’s retirement comes at a time when the Cranes have just failed to qualify for the AFCON 2021 campaign.

The shot stopper’s resignation also adds to a sense of crisis in the Cranes’ camp, following comments from FUFA president Magogo who accused players of playing “shitty” football in the CHAN competition.

In an audio recording that went viral on social media, a furious Onyango was heard threatening to resign, saying he is tired of working for selfish people.

In the audio, Onyango accused the FUFA president of embezzling funds meant for national team players’ emoluments.

Former Cranes midfielder, Sulaiman Mutyaba lifted the lid on the mismanaging of players’ emoluments and a number of people have since joined his cause.

Onyango’s retirement comes two days after Cranes vice captain, Hassan Wasswa on Saturday also announced he had hung up his boots after serving the national team for 13 solid years.

It has since been said that Magogo’s comments added onto lack of proper accountability for funds meant for their emoluments didn’t augur well with the Cranes senior players and consequently decided to throw in the towel.

By Gen. Frank L'Oyet

A Ugandan Media Proprietor, Software Engineer, Creative Technologist and Investigative Journalist

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