Gor Mahia striker Patrick Kaddu missing as Uganda name squad for 2026  FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Gor Mahia striker Patrick Kaddu missing as Uganda name squad for 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Festus Chuma 12:18 - 24.05.2024

A big pool of local talent sees Uganda Cranes' Coach Paul Put omit Kenya-based players for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

For many years, Uganda Cranes have regularly included Kenyan-based players in their squads, recognising the competitive edge they bring from the FKF Premier League. 

However, this tradition was broken when Head Coach Paul Put announced his 28-man squad for the forthcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, notably excluding any player based in Kenya.

During a press conference held at FUFA Complex in Mengo, Kampala, Put expressed confidence in his selection.

 "I believe the players summoned are in the right shape and in perfect condition to represent the country," he said.

The absence of Kenyan-based players has raised eyebrows, particularly given the standout performances of players like Gor Mahia forward Patrick Kaddu and the Bandari trio of Derrick Nsibambi, William Wadri, and Umaru Kasumba. 

These players have been exceptional in the FKF Premier League, yet none were considered for the national team.

In discussing the squad selection, Put emphasised the importance of Uganda Cranes' return to Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, after a hiatus since 2019. 

"Uganda Cranes returning to Namboole is a big motivation for us because the fans have missed the chance to watch the team. I believe the players will also be motivated to play at home again," he remarked.

The team is set to enter a residential camp on May 30, 2024, in preparation for their matches against Botswana on June 7 and Algeria on June 10. 

Both games will be held under floodlights, with kickoff scheduled for 7PM EAT.

One of the notable inclusions in the squad is Uche Mubiru Ikpeazu, a British-born Ugandan who plays for Port Vale FC. 

Despite being summoned by then-coach Johnny McKinstry in 2020, Ikpeazu is yet to make his debut for Uganda. 

The 6'3" attacker is known for his physical presence and ability to hold up play, which Put believes will be an asset to the team.

However, with 11 players from the Uganda Premier League making the cut, Put's decision to exclude Kenyan-based players suggests a focus on homegrown talent and other international options.

Uganda's fans eagerly await the team's return to Mandela National Stadium hoping that the squad, despite its notable omissions, will rise to the occasion and make a strong start in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Uganda Cranes Squad


Isima Bid Rashid Watenga (Lamontville Golden Arrows FC, South Africa), Nafian Alionzi (Defence Forces FC, Ethiopia), Crispus Kusiima (Kitara FC, Uganda), Braddy Jeans Wokorach (SC Villa, Uganda)


Elvis Bwomono (St. Mirren FC, Scotland), Kenneth Semakula (SC Villa, Uganda), Isaac Muleme (FK Victoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell FC, Scotland), Abdu Aziizi Kayondo (MFK Vyskov, Czech Republic), Nicholas Mwere (BUL FC, Uganda), Timothy Denis Awany (FC Ashdod, Israel), Capradossi Elio (Calcio Lecco FC, Italy), Halidi Lwaliwa (FK Bregainica Stip, North Macedonia)


Khalid Aucho (Yanga SC, Tanzania), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Austin FC, USA), Ronald Ssekiganda (SC Villa, Uganda), Joel Sserunjogi (KCCA FC, Uganda), Ibrahim Kasule (New York Red Bull II, USA),Travis Mutyaba (Zamalek SC, Egypt)


Steven Dese Mukwala (Asante Kotoko FC, Ghana), Uchechukwu Mubiru Ikpeazu (Port Vale, England), Denis Omedi (Kitara FC, Uganda), Muhammad Shaban (KCCA FC, Uganda), Fahad Aziz Bayo (MFK Vyskov, Czech Republic), Rogers Kassim Mato (Brera Strumica), Patrick Jonah Kakande (SC Villa, Uganda), Umar Lutalo (SC Villa, Uganda), Allan Okello (Vipers SC, Uganda)

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