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‘A career of great quality’ – McKinstry leads tributes to Uganda’s Wasswa

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The Northern Irish tactician leads tributes to the 33-year-old midfielder after he decided to call it quits from the national team

Coach Johnathan McKinstry has led the Ugandan fraternity to pay tribute to midfielder Hassan Wasswa, who called it quits from national team duties on Sunday.

The 33-year-old midfielder confirmed he had retired from the national team, where he said it was a very big honour to represent the people of Uganda for the last 13 years.

The Northern Irish tactician, who had the opportunity to coach Wasswa while in charge of the Cranes, has taken to his social media pages to wish him well on his next move.

“A career of great quality, dedication, and service to the Uganda Cranes comes to an end,” McKinstry wrote.

“Wasswa has been and will continue to remain a great example to future generations of what it takes to excel in the red shirt of Uganda.

“Good luck Hassan [Wasswa] in the next chapter.”

Federation of Uganda Football Association also thanked Wasswa for the great memories, having made 75 appearances for the national team.

“Thank you Hassan Wasswa for the great memories,” Fufa wrote on their social media pages. “What is your best moment of Hassan in the Uganda Cranes jersey?”

On announcing his retirement, Wasswa said in a statement obtained by Goal: “Today [Saturday] is a difficult day for me, but it is also a day of reflection and gratitude.

“Playing for Cranes has been a tremendous honour. During my 13 years as a Cranes player, I’ve always pursued success and winning football games, while preparing and training with the highest standards of competition, passion, and perseverance.

“It has been an honour to represent my family, my teammates, and the people of Uganda.

“With much sadness but without regret, I realise I am no longer able to adhere to the unwavering standard of excellence that professional football demands. I say this with a heavy heart.

“I am retiring from the national team. I love the game of football so much, and I know there is truly only one acceptable way to play. Knowing I can no longer compete at a level that I find acceptable, I have chosen to end my Cranes career.”

Wasswa served the Cranes at two Afcon finals – 2017 in Gabon and 2019 in Egypt –and his last assignment for the national team was in Egypt when the Cranes played against Senegal and he also managed a total of 75 caps.

Outside Uganda, Wasswa played for St George (Ethiopia), FC Cape Town (South Africa), Karabukspor (Turkey), Altay (Turkey), Kayseri Erciyesspor (Turkey), Dong Nai (Vietnam), Al Shorta (Iraq), Nejmeh Sporting Club (Lebanon), Tala’ea El Gaish Sporting Club (Egypt) and lately Jeddah club in Saudi Arabia.

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