Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu, the Ambassador of Uganda to Khartoum, Sudan, has congratulated the Hippos U20 Uganda National Team for emerging victorious as Champions of the Central East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) and therefore qualifying for the Under 20 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt 2023.
In the U-20 AFCON qualifiers for the CECAFA finals that took place on Friday, November 11, 2022, at Al-Hilal Stadium, Omdurman-Khartoum, Sudan, Uganda beat South Sudan 2:1 to qualify for AFCON 2023 and retain the regional crown.
Other countries whose teams have qualified that Uganda will have to face for the U20 Continental Cup include Libya from the North Zone (UNAF), Zambia from the South Zone (COSAFA), Senegal from the West B Zone (WAFU-UFOA B), and winners from the finals of West Zone A (WAFU-UFOA A) and finalists from the Central Zone (UNIFFAC).
Ambassador Ssemuddu hailed the young players for their zeal and commitments that have enabled them to raise the flag of Uganda higher, noting that as players, they are the best ambassadors for Uganda who are promoting and popularising the Pearl of Africa for positive reasons.
He encouraged them to maintain a high level of discipline both on the field and in communities wherever they live, travel, and play as celebrities who carry the flag of our country at all times.
The Ambassador emphasised the importance of sports as a good profession that should be taken seriously just like any other profession that enables actors to earn lots of money to make a living, promote growth and development, and keep oneself physically fit, morally upright, and medically healthy.
Dr. Ssemuddu praised the Government of Uganda for investing in sports through strategic planning at the highest level of policy formulation and implementation, budget prioritization, and effective leadership of the NRM Administration under a President who cares greatly about the Bazukulus, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and the Ministry of Education and Sports managed by the First Lady, the Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, with the Sports docket placed under the youthful State Minister Peter Ogwang, an active soccer player and champion of inter-parliamentary sports.
“With our government, the future is indeed secured.” He noted.
With gratitude to the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA), Ambassador Ssemuddu conveyed his appreciation and congratulatory message to FUFA President, Eng. Moses Hassim Magogo, through the team leader, Hajji Juma Abdullahamid MARIJAN.
He expressed admiration for the U20 manager, coach, and entire FUFA team for their hard work, commitment, and dedication in building a strong team of players.
The Ambassador, together with the Head of Chancery, Dickson Ogwang, and the Accounting Officer, David Wamono, officially welcomed the players on their arrival in Sudan on October 26.
He was physically present at the stadium for all Uganda matches and joined the CECAFA defending champions, flanked by Uganda Embassy officials, including the Defense Attaché, Brig. Gen. Fred Karara, in celebrating Uganda’s victory at Al-Hilal Stadium, Sudan.
Ambassador Dr. Ssemuddu wished the team success in their AFCON bid come 2023 and bade them farewell for their journey out of Khartoum aboard Ethiopian Airlines for Entebbe when they travelled in a celebrative mood, departing at dawn on Saturday, November 12, 2022.