Emmanuel Arnold Okwi has been chosen as Uganda Cranes captain replacing retired goalkeeper Denis Onyango
Denis Onyango, who retired in March 2021 after the team failed to qualify for the 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), served his role since 2017 after taking over from Andrew Mwesigwa.
Okwi currently plies his professional trade with Al Ittihad Alexandria Club in the Egypt Premier League.
His first assignment will be during the international friendly away to South Africa on 12th June 2021. He takes over the mantle from retired goalkeeper
The former Sports Club Villa and Simba forward is experienced, has the leadership skills and has played for the Uganda Cranes team for a decade, including two Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in 2017 (Cameroon) and 2019 (Egypt).
He has often donned the arm band at times Onyango and then his vice captain Hassan Wasswa Mawanda were not able to play for the Uganda Cranes.
The Uganda Cranes Acting coach Abdallah Mubiru named the striker as the skipper while releasing a 34-man squad on Wednesday at the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) headquarters in Mengo.
The Uganda Cranes and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana that failed to qualify for the 2021 AFCON will use the friendly match to prepare ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar qualifiers which will start in September.
Initially the qualifiers were meant to be played next month, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA postponed to September.
“I am happy that the team will have an international friendly and some new players will also have chance to feature,” said Acting coach Mubiru.
Another Egyptian based midfielder Khalid Aucho who was suspended by FUFA ahead of the national team’s two crucial matches in the 2021 AFCON because of indiscipline was not invited.
Goalkeeper Ismael Watenga who recently joined South African side Chippa United FC has also been invited together with Erick Kambale who has been in good form for Uganda Premier League table leaders Express FC.