Why Uganda Cranes Captain Onyango Followed Hassan Wasswa Into Retirement From International Football

Ugandan Cranes Captain follows veteran Hassan Wasswa into retirement as the national team is thrown into uncertainty following heated debates in media over unpaid allowances.

Uganda cranes captain Dennis Masinde Onyango and his assistant Hassan Wasswa have announced their retirement from the Uganda cranes.

Wasswa announced his retirement on 9th-April-2021 via his social media platforms while Dennis Onyango announced his on the 12th of April, 2021 via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

The 33-year-old defender has been in professional football for over 12 years while Goalkeeper Dennis Onyango has been a professional player for 16 years according to his player profile.

The two players were part of the team that qualified and featured in two Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Gabon (2017) and Egypt (2019).

In his emotional retirement letter, Wasswa said it’s a difficult time for him but it’s a reflection for being part of the team that made the history of Uganda.

“With much sadness but without regret, I announce my retirement from Uganda Cranes. I have always perused success with my teammates and it has been an honor to represent Uganda at a national,” he said.

Wasswa said he played 75 games in the Uganda Cranes shirt, a record that he said is good enough for him as a footballer.

“I thank God for enabling me to succeed in my 13-year professional carrier and I thank my teammates, the coaches, and the fans for the support you have always shown to the team,” he added.

During his times as a student of business at the Makerere University of Business School (MUBS), Mawanda played football at Kampala Capital City Authority as well as Sports Club Villa before switching to clubs like St George (Ethiopia), FC Cape Town (South Africa), Karabukspor (Turkey), Altay (Turkey), Kayseri Erciyesspor (Turkey), Dong Nai (Vietnam), Al Shorta (Iraq), Nejmeh Sporting Club (Lebanon), Tala’ea El Gaish Sporting Club (Egypt) and lately Jeddah club in Saudi Arabia.

Hassan Wasswa and Denis Onyango have been instrumental for Uganda Cranes in a decade and a half as leaders.

The 36-year-old Onyango also announced his retirement from the Uganda Cranes in a leaked phone audio that went viral on social media.

In the audio, Onyango said the unfair terms and conditions the players have been going through is the main reason why he is retiring from the national team.

His resignation came after FUFA President Moses Magogo refused to give players their bonuses on grounds that they played ‘shitty football’ in the recently concluded CHAN Tournament and the African cup of Nations qualifiers against South Sudan in Kenya and Burkina Faso in Kampala.

In his emotional letter to Ugandans, Onyango said he didn’t want to retire early but circumstances seem to have forced him out.

“It is a sad day in my life knowing that I will never wear the Jersey of my loved Uganda Cranes again. I will now become a supporter who wears the jersey in the stands from home,” he said.

His lengthy letter can be found on his social media handles.

He started his football carrier as a child in Nsambya FC before playing for SC Villa in 2004-2005. From 2005-2006, he signed for Ethiopian club St-George before going to South Africa in 2006 to join SuperSport United until 2010. From 2010-2011, he joined Mpumalanga Black Aces and he is currently at Mamelodi Sundowns.

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