FC Minneapolis has announced that the City Lions have agreed with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) to undertake their first football tour to Kampala, Uganda during the Spring FIFA International Break of 2018 to play with the Uganda Cranes for a friendly match at the Mandela National Stadium on Sunday the 18th of March at 4:00 pm.
The City Lions expect to touch down at Entebbe International Airport on March 13th before heading to their training camp where they will reside until gameday before returning to the United States on Tuesday, March 20th.
The Cranes are ranked number 71 in the world by FIFA. They are currently sitting in second place in their group for 2018 World Cup qualification, two points from a position that would mean a trip to Russia next summer.
FC Minneapolis plans to play the Cranes on March 18th, 2018 at the Ugandan National Team’s stadium, Mandela National Stadium, in Bweyogerere. Letters between the club, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), and Uganda’s head coach Milutin Sredojević, show that the terms of the international friendly have been agreed to. FUFA is currently in contact with U.S. Soccer/United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to meet FIFA regulations.
Sendi Ian, FC Minneapolis’ player-manager, is very thankful for the opportunity. “I thank the Federation…and the Uganda Cranes Technical Team for agreeing to our request…I [also] thank the Uganda National Football Team Head Coach Mr. Milutin Sredojević who has always advised me, our official Club representative Mr. Ronnie Santos whose efforts have contributed greatly to this whole process. When I first took up this job, I committed my administration to turn our club into a global brand and this game with my Country’s National Team brings us closer to that ambition,” said Sendi in a brief Statement.
FC Minneapolis hopes that the trip next spring will allow the City Lions to build a fanbase abroad, as well as establish a pipeline for players between Uganda and the United States.
Both parties are excited by this unique opportunity. The last time a soccer team from Minnesota played against another country’s national team was when Minnesota United faced the Mexican U21 side in early 2016.