Three Ugandan rugby players go AWOL in Munich
Three Ugandan national rugby team players have disappeared in Germany moments after the Oktoberbest rugby tournament which took place in the southern city of Munich at the weekend.
The trio Brian Kikaawa, Fred Odur and Ramathan Govule are on the run, with Ugandan rugby officials and the Germany security apparatus trying to locate them.
The players are said to have disappeared during the team’s dinner session at the luxurious Leonado Hotel in Munich .The three reportedly left early before the rest of the team. What transpired next, as they say, is history.
In the meantime, the Ugandan Rugby Union (URU) has clarified that James Odonj who had also been reported missing is with the squad. Odong plies his professional trade with Kenyan rugby outfit Nondies RFC.
In a statement in their Facebook page, URU said, “Apparently three of the Sevens Rugby Cranes players have vanished in Germany where they had gone to play in the Oktoberfest 7s.
“Apologies to James Odong for the miscommunication.He is with the team and not missing like earlier stated.”
The Rugby Cranes had flown 12 players to the tournament but now face an agonizing wait and search for the three who have since gone AWOL.
It is alleged that the player’s belongings including their travel documents were still in their rooms. The trio’s disappearance was reported to the German police and Immigration officials.
This is not the first time Uganda players have disappeared while on duty in Europe. Three years ago, in 2014, during another Commonwealth qualifier in Scotland, Philip Pariyo and Benon Kizza left the team’s training camp and reappeared a few months later playing for Cardiff RFC in Roath, Cardiff.
The duo was spotted by former Wales international Mark Ring and were granted asylum for five years awaiting their applications to be determined.
Uganda Rugby Union CEO Ramsey Olinga condemned the act terming it “a misbehaviour aimed at painting the negative image of the game and Uganda Rugby to a disgrace”.
The disappearance of the trio is a blow to the Uganda national team which is set to resume training on Tuesday for the upcoming Africa 7’s tournament this weekend in Kampala.
Meanwhile, Odong’s availability will be good news for his national team as well as his wounded Kenya Cup side who have recently been posting dismal performances in the current ongoing national sevens circuit.
The sevens tournament will double up as a Commonwealth games qualifier and the 2017 Rugby World Cup 7s qualifier, which should earn them a slot to the 2018 World Cup slot to be held in San Francisco, USA.
Hosts Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Namibia will take part in the tournament. Best two teams at the Africa Sevens will qualify for the World Cup.
9.30am Ghana vs Tunisia
9.52am Zambia vs Morocco
10.14am Mauritius vs Zimbabwe
10.36am Botswana vs Senegal
10.58am Uganda vs Ghana
11.20am Tunisia vs Zambia
12.04pm Madagscar vs Mauritius
12.26pm Zimbabwe vs Botswana
12.48pm Zambia vs Uganda
1.10pm Morocco vs Tunisia
1.54pm Botswana vs Madagascar
2.16pm Senegal vs Zimbabwe
3pm Uganda vs Morocco
3.22pm Zambia vs Ghana
3.44pm Madagscar vs Senegal
4.06pm Botswana vs Mauritius
4.28pm Tunisia vs Uganda
4.50pm Morocco vs Ghana
5.12pm Zimbabwe vs Madagascar
5.34pm Senegal vs Mauritius
Report by Edwin Mbare
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