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Has Lumala hang up his national team boots?

By Allan Damba
Former Uganda coach Sebastien Desabre (L) talks with forward Abdu Lumala during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 soccer match between Uganda and Senegal at Cairo International Stadium. | (Photo by Gehad Hamdy/picture alliance via Getty Images

Days after ejection from the national team by Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, winger Abdu Lumala has hinted about retiring from the fold, albeit, at only 24 years.

The lightning-quick player was initially summoned by Micho for the World Cup qualifers against Kenya and Mali slated for September 02nd and 06th respectively.

He was as well part of the starting pack in Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Ethiopia, an indication that he would be key for the two bouts.

However, to his and so many national team fans’ surprise, he was dumped along with Martin Kizza, Shafik Kagimu and Kenneth Semakula upon the arrival of Mustafa Kizza, Derrick Nsibambi and Isaac Muleme.

This did not go down well with Lumala as he believed he had a key role to play for his nation. He felt he was unfairly judged, ill-treated and disrespected.

It was thereafter followed with Wednesday’s social media post from him hinting at possible retirement; “It was a pleasure, not proud anymore to represent the flag.”

It should be noted that Lumala has played less than 10 times in the past two years due to a career-ending injury he suffered in 2019.

Despite returning to light training in 2020, he has not featured for his Egyptian outfit, Pyramids since the injury.

He made his Cranes debut on June 9th, 2019 in a friendly against Turkmenistan. He has gone on to feature on five occasions, including impressive displays at the 2019 Africa Cup of nations in Egypt.

However, his most recent displays have been underwhelming. He only featured for 45 minutes in the 2020 AFCON qualifier against Burkina Faso at Kitende and stayed on the bench at Malawi, days later.

In a friendly against the Bafana Bafana in June, he only played for 11 minutes scoring in the 3-2 defeat, with 45 to his name against Ethiopia on Sunday.

If Lumala announces official retirement, it surely would be disappointing news, given his age and undoubtedly huge potential.

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