Uganda Cranes skipper and first-choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango Masinde has announced his retirement from international football.
In his letter to the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) president, Moses Hassim Magogo dated April 12, the South African based goalkeeper announced his immediate retirement from the national team.
“This letter represents my official notice of retirement from the Uganda national team, The Cranes, effective April 12, 2021,” said the letter.
The development comes after the Cranes failed to qualify for their third straight Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after they lost away to Malawi in their last group game last month.
“It has been a great pleasure and honour to represent my country and I will always appreciate the experience and knowledge that I have gained while playing for the Cranes,” stated the letter.
Onyango, 35, said stated that his notice will give the federation enough time to adequately prepare his replacement for the upcoming matches.
“By remaining a true patriot and supporter of football in my beloved country Uganda, I wish you all the best in your future endeavours and challenges,” stated the letter.
Onyango’s retirement comes just a few days after his former vice captain Hassan Wasswa, 33, also announced he hanging his boots from the national team. Onyango and Magogo have been involved in a war of words over player allowances and performance. The players petitioned FUFA, demanding their game allowances, but Magogo said the players deserve nothing after playing "shitty football".
A few weeks ago Onyango, the 2016 African based African Player of the Year guided helped his South African based team Mamelodi Sundowns to the quarter-finals stage of the CAF Champions League.
Uganda Cranes will start their 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E qualifier campaign against Kenya in Nairobi in June, before hosting Mali. Rwanda’s Amavubi is the other team in the group.