KAMPALA: Dennis Onyango Masinde, the Uganda Cranes Captain has announced he will not be participating in future international games for the National team.
In a post on twitter, the 35 year-old goalkeeper who also plays for South African Premier Soccer League club Mamelodi Sundowns said that after much consideration, his family and managers had decided that retirement was in his best interest.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from international football. After much consideration, my family, managers and I, decided it was in my best interest to hang my gloves on my beloved Cranes Flag of Uganda Big thanks to every Ugandan over the years,” Onyango said.
The National team goalkeeper, who also shared his official written statement addressed to Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) president Moses Magogo, noted that retirement was to take immediate effect.
“This letter represents my official notice of retirement from the Uganda National Football Team, The Cranes effective April 12th 2021. It has been a great pleasure and honor to represent my country and I will always appreciate the experience and knowledge that I have gained while playing for the Cranes,” the letter reads in part.
Onyango’s retirement comes in the wake of FUFA president Moses Magogo’s comments towards Uganda Cranes players that participated in the 2020 CHAN tournament in Cameroon.
Magogo is quoted to have said that the national team players had no right to demand for their camp bonuses after playing ‘sh**ty football’.
Onyango who made his Uganda Cranes debut on 18 June 2005 during a world cup qualification match against Cape Verde, noted that he had given ample time for the technical team to find a suitable replacement.
“I believe that my notice period is sufficient enough for the technical team to adequately prepare my replacement for the upcoming matches,” Onyango said.
The biggest highlight of Onyango’s time with Uganda was captaining the Cranes at the 2019 Afcon where he guided the team to the Round of 16.
Onyango retires two days after his former national team vice-captain Hassan Wasswa also called time on his 13-year international career.
In his statement, Waswa said it had been an honor to represent the people of Uganda.
“During my 13 years as a Cranes player, I’ve always pursued success and winning football games, while preparing and training with the highest standards of competition, passion and perseverance. It has been an honor to represent my family, my teammates and the people of Uganda,” he said.
Africa Tembelea has since learnt that either Chippa United goalkeeper Ismael Watenga or Al Hilal’s Jamal Salim are likely to replace Onyango as the Cranes number one goalkeeper.