Uganda finally pay Milutin Sredojevic's debt

Milutin Sredojevic Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The Federation of Uganda Football Association has finally settled the $54,000 debt they owed to former national team coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic.

Sredojevic, who ended the Cranes' 39-year wait to reach the African Cup of Nations by guiding them to the 2017 event, terminated his contract on July 29 after accruing significant wage arrears.

The Serbian coach ultimately signed for PSL giants Orlando Pirates, but only now have FUFA paid their debt.

"We are happy to announce that we have finally paid the debt of $54,000 to Sredojevic," the Uganda FA's Head of Finance Decolas Kiiza told journalists at FUFA headquarters in Mengo on Wednesday. "We received $20,000 from the government, and [used] the balance of $34,000 from our reserves."

Micho was replaced by interim boss Moses Basena midway through 2017, before Frenchman Sebastien Desabre was appointed on a three-year deal in December ahead of the 2018 African Nations Championship.

"On behalf of the federation, I am very proud that we have been able to complete our disengagement with our former coach Micho," FA President Moses Magogo told KweséESPN. "We have been paying it in bits and we wish him well because he is part of Ugandan football in-terms of our history and achievement.

"We are also happy to disengage with him in a very formal way so that he obtains what is due to him."

The FA President also expressed confidence that Desabre wouldn't end up being owed significant outstanding wages as Micho had been.

"We have had further discussion with the government," he added, "and they will cater for [Desabre's salary] in the next budget."

Uganda's predicament is not unique across Africa, with Kenya coach Paul Put leaving his post in February after one of the Kenyan federation's key sponsors pulled out of their deal, leaving the FKF short of the required funds.

Similarly, last year FIFA expelled Zimbabwe from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers for failing to pay their former national team coach Jose Claudinei Georgini.