If what Johnathan McKinstry posted on his social media platforms on Thursday evening is anything to go by, Kenya in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers will be his first task upon the end of his one month suspension.
McKinstry was asked to step aside from his role as Uganda Cranes head coach on March 3 and was replaced by his assistant Abdallah Mubiru.
The whole country is now waiting to see what FUFA’s verdict will be regards McKinstry’s future but by the look of things the Irishman has already started working again and the football federation will just issue an official statement that he has been reinstated.
“A busy day following up with Uganda Cranes players after their return to their clubs. Planning is already under way for the start of our FIFA World Cup campaign in June when we will kick off our journey to Qatar 2022,” McKinstry tweeted.
The above post in one way or the other, settled the nerves of those who doubted the 35-year old’s return from suspension. Many thought it was the end of the road as Cranes head coach but it seems not.
During his absence, the Uganda Cranes had two crucial African Cup of Nations qualifiers as they sought qualification for a third AFCON edition in a row, a task at which they failed when they drew 0-0 with Burkina Faso and lost 1-0 to Malawi.
With no international engagements for now until June, McKinstry’s next involvement with the Cranes will also wait until then.
The Cranes will next be in action in the World Cup qualifiers first against neighbours the Harambee Stars of Kenya at Kasarani on between June 5 – 8.
Just like Uganda, Kenya also did not manage to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations due in Cameroon in January 2022 and therefore Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s side also turn their focus to the World Cup qualifiers.
Uganda and Kenya are part of Group E which also comprises of another East African side Rwanda and West Africa giants Mali.
The group winner is guaranteed a place in the third qualifying round for the World’s greatest football tournament.
Uganda Cranes World Cup qualifying campaign
Kenya vs Uganda – 5th/6th June
Uganda vs Mali – 12th/13th June
Rwanda vs Uganda – 3rd/4th September
Uganda vs Rwanda – 6th/7th September
Uganda vs Kenya – 6th/7th October
Mali vs Uganda – 11th/12th October