UGANDA coach Bobby Williamson today refused to close the door on David Obua’s international career but admitted losing patience with the Hearts midfielder after removing him from the squad.
Obua has pledged never to play for Uganda again whilst Williamson and the country’s football president, Lawrence Mulindwa, remain in charge. Williamson, whilst angry at what he perceives as petulance from Obua, is not ruling the player out of future squads.
The pair had a disagreement on Friday when Obua missed a meeting with the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, who was addressing the players prior to Saturday’s crucial African Nations Cup qualifier with Kenya, which ended 0-0, denying Uganda an historic place in the finals.
Obua claimed he was told he would not be allowed to put questions to the president and opted to return to the team hotel. He was then ordered to leave the camp after discussions between Williamson and the Ugandan FA.
Obua has accused Williamson and Mulindwa of wanting him out, but the Scot refuted the allegations. “Why would I want David Obua out? Why would I invite him in the first place if I wanted him out? It would be easier not to call him up since he doesn’t play regularly for Hearts,” said Williamson.
“I never say never but it depends on how David goes about this. He made a big mistake on Friday and left us with no option but to ask him to leave.
“For him to say he was denied a chance to speak to the president is wrong and I don’t know where he’s coming from with that. The players did speak to the president and a lot of things were discussed. David could have been part of that.
“David has said he wouldn’t work under the president or myself. I don’t plan to be leaving any time soon and I hope the president doesn’t either. I never say never. I like David Obua. I find him a very good player if he’s fit. I questioned his fitness because he didn’t train on Thursday or Friday.”
Williamson offered his explanation of events, saying: “The president was coming to wish the players all the best and David hadn’t trained on Friday morning. I got told the president wasn’t coming so I went home. When I got home I got a phonecall saying the president was coming so I went back to the stadium. When I got there the players had come back from the hotel and David was there. “He walked out of the stadium into a taxi and took the taxi back to the hotel. When I got back I asked David why he left and he gave me an answer that I didn’t think was reasonable or acceptable. After discussions with FUFA we decided to ask him to leave.”
Williamson declined to divulge details of Obua’s answer.
Obua is adamant his international career is over. “I don’t want to play for this team again. Never, never, never again,” he said. “Unless Mulindwa and Bobby are out of the set-up. These guys have always wanted me out because I am the most vocal player. But God can bear me witness. I have given all to this team. And was even ready to play when still below required fitness levels and may be pay consequences with a six-to-seven week layoff back in Scotland.”