Is “Belittlement” really ‘a thing’ for sacked football coaches now?
According to former Uganda Cranes coach Bobby Williamson – yes it is.
Miles away in his native Scotland, the current coach of Kenyan champions Gor Mahia took to different sports websites to give a series of interviews on how he was forced to coach Uganda for no reason whatsoever.
Bobby in an interview with football365.com on Wednesday March 5, revealed of how he came to Uganda in 2008 and wasn’t impressed but what he did see was a lot of poverty, and a lot of poor housing but later took the job which he held till 2013 giving no clue as to why he had decided to over-share.
Perhaps the 52-year-old was trying to make an SOS for the Cranes narrating how the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) was about to be sued for imitating Adidas strips designs and .
We reproduce bits of his interview to scotsman.com
When I first arrived, I wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t see much of the place, but what I did see was a lot of poverty, and a lot of poor housing, so I declined the job. We were due to go home, but then we got knocked off our flight, meaning we had to stay another day.
As I walked on a beach at Lake Victoria, I thought: “The weather’s great, the people are friendly, I could stay here.” I spoke to the chairman of the federation, and said: “I’ll do your next two games, and we’ll take it from there.” We lost one, won one, and I ended up saying four or five years.
“Equipment could be a problem in Uganda. At training, we’d have poles in the ground rather than portable goals. One time, we turned up and there were no balls, so we had to do a running session. The football federation didn’t have a main sponsor – MTN (the phone company) do their best, but the money doesn’t always get through. It can be painful, but the players always gave it their all.”
“We had to buy our own Adidas strips. Once we wore fake Adidas strips, and we were caught and were reprimanded! These things happen in Africa. But it is disappointing.
“Before my final game, I knew people were working behind my back to get me sacked. It was a World Cup qualifier in Liberia, and the travel arrangements were terrible. We were supposed to leave on the Monday or Tuesday, go to Ghana, pop across from there. But it dragged on and dragged on, and we eventually left on the Thursday. The journey took 25 hours, and we had people sleeping in concourses and so on. It didn’t help our cause. We lost 2-0 and that was that.”
“I remember one time at a tournament with Uganda we had to get the players’ names on the back of the strips. Of course, the players wanted the strips after the tournament, but UFA [the Ugandan Football Association] would not let them, and there was a bit of a stand-off.”
The yellow shirt of a team known as The Cranes has become a more desirable item since Williamson took over, in 2008. “The Cranes should be a big marketing brand, you see millions of people with the Uganda football strip now,” he says. “When I first arrived it was all Chelsea and Man United and Arsenal. Now you see a lot of Uganda strips, because we have done well at home.”
“I would rather be unemployed in Africa than unemployed back in Britain,” he adds
Would I recommend going abroad? It depends on the country. Africa’s a big continent, and things are different depending on where you go.