Gor Mahia deny Godfrey Walusimbi Cranes call-up

Godfrey Walusimbi of Uganda Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kenya Premier league champions Gor Mahia have prevented defender Godfrey Walusimbi from joining the Uganda national team for the Three Nations tournament to take place in Niger.

The defender only returned to Gor last month after settling the contract dispute which had kept him out of action for four weeks.

He featured in the Kenyan giants' international friendly against Hull City, and the two CAF Confederation games against Rayon Sports and USM Alger.

"We could not let Walusimbi go because he is part of the integral core of the team," Gor Chief Executive Officer Lordvick Aduda told KweséESPN.

"We have league matches and Super Cup matches from June 3-19, and we are the defending champions."

Uganda coach Sebastien Desabre has opted to replace Walusimbi with SC Villa midfielder Allan Kyambadde for the upcoming competition.

"It's unfortunate that I will not have all my players, including Walusimbi, but I am happy that I will have another chance to take a closer look at my senior players," Desabre told KweséESPN.

The Cranes will face the Central African Republic in the opening match on May 30 at the Stade General Seyni Kountche before battling hosts Niger on June 2.

"The main objective of playing in this tournament is to have the players gel together in preparation for the four 2019 African Cup of Nations qualification matches between September and November 2018," Desabre added.

The French coach has also handed a maiden call-up to Moses Opondo, who features for Danish side

Desabre who took over the Cranes job last December also invited a new player Moses Opondo who features for Danish side Vendsyssel FF.

"I want the players to have several competitive matches before the qualifiers, and the tournament in Niger will help us a lot," he added.

Uganda Cranes began their 2019 AFCON qualifying campaign with a vital 1-0 Group L away win at Cape Verde last year.

In September, they host Tanzania before facing Lesotho the following month.

Uganda Squad

Charles Lukwago, Salim Omar Magoola, Denis Onyango, Denis Iguma, Nicholas Wadada, Murushid Juuko, Timothy Denis Awany, Bevis Mugabi, Mose Opondo, Isaac Muleme, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Joseph Ochaya, Khalid Aucho, Tadeo Lwanga, Kizito William Luwagga, Milton Kalisa, Allan Kateregga, Shaban Muhamad, Allan Kyambadde, Farouk Miya, Emmanuel Okwi, Yunus Sentamu, Edrisa Lubega