The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has denied reports alleging that some of the players in the Cranes camp have been affected by unusual cold weather in Morocco.
On Friday, some media reported that some players were terribly affected by the coldness which created fear of likely poor performance when the tournament begins on Jan 12.
In a Friday evening conversation with players in the Cranes who preferred anonymity, they disclosed that weather is a challenge they are trying to cope with.
“It’s true it is very cold here, but am coping slowly,” one of the Cranes players intimated to us.
However, while speaking to SoftPower News, the FUFA communications manager, Ahmed Hussein dismissed any effects on the team, saying FUFA planned for it earlier describing the reports as untrue but admitted that the country is very cold.
“It is very cold indeed because the temperature is about 16C, but it has had no effect on any player because we knew it earlier and we planned for it. In fact, no player has raised coldness as an issue,” Marsha said.
He further said that the team is in good shape and ready to take on teams in the tournament.
However, Dr Muhereza Mukuzi of Aspire Medical Clinic and Uganda Medical Association General Secretary reiterates that the team needed more time in Morocco for their bodies to acclimatize with the new temperatures.
“Our bodies are programmed to function at a certain range of temperatures. Any deviation needs adjustment. When we stay in a certain temperature range, we get used to it (acclimatise). For the players to function well in another temperature range they needed more time”, he said.
Cranes arrived in Morocco on Thursday Jan 4 and will play their first tournament game 10 days later on Jan 14 against Zambia, a period Dr Mukuzi says it is not sufficient for the players’ body to adapt to very cold North Africa temperatures.
Cranes will today play a friendly match with Guinea at 9 pm EAT in a game that will aid Coach Desabre to test his team.
Despite participating in all the CHAN editions, Cranes has never sailed through the group stages. The bigger question is whether cold weather will be an excuse in case the status quo is maintained.