Monday Mar 08, 2021. 12:00
Uganda coach Morley Byekwaso has called on FIFA to find a way for the U-20 World Cup to be played, arguing that his side deserve a chance to showcase their skills on a global stage.
The Hippos finished as runners-up at the 2021 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, which came to a close in Mauritania this past weekend.
Uganda, in their continental tournament debut, got all the way to the final and suffered a 0-2 loss at the hands of Ghana in Nouakchott on Saturday night.
Ordinarily they would now be turning their attention to the U-20 World Cup (with the top four teams at the AFCON qualifying for the global tournament), but FIFA took a decision in December 2020 to scrap the 2021 showpiece due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The U-20 World Cup was initially scheduled to be played in Indonesia in May and June.
Byekwaso argues that a path to play the tournament should be found, as a generation of players will unfairly miss out on a great career opportunity.
“FIFA needs to stick to the principles and find a way to play the tournament,” Byekwaso is quoted by Football265.
“We have been fighting so hard to reach the World Cup but if we miss out on this chance the boys are going to grow, get older and go into the other age brackets.”
He added, “This means that our players will miss out on such a golden chance to play against the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Norway, and England.
“Interacting with such teams can never leave you the same because there is a lot you learn from them. Countries like Nigeria and Ghana have benefited from these tournaments because they often qualify for them.
“But in one year I have managed to win the regional tournament [CECAFA] and for the first time guided the boys to the finals of their debut tournament. I am so happy and thank God for the journey.”