Onyango is an icon – Mokwena

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Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has commented on the sudden retirement from international football by Downs number one keeper Denis Onyango.

The 2016 Africa-based CAF player of the year confirmed on Monday that he would be quitting ‘The Cranes’ national team with immediate effect.

The 35-year-old represented Uganda in 80 matches since making his international debut in 2005 against Cape Verde.

The East Africa side recently failed to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations set to take place in Cameroon.

Speaking during a media briefing ahead of their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal against Orlando Pirates on Thursday, Mokwena says he has made Onyango aware of what he thinks of his decision.

“Fortunately I have been privy to the news prior to Dennis speaking about it because I think the type of person that Denis is,” said Mokwena.

“He is the one that engages and does that with a lot of respect and appreciation for the opinions of people close to his cycle. Denis knows what I think about the retirement. But I think the club will probably issue out a statement and maybe only after the club has issued out a statement can we be in a position to comment and respond.

“An icon, huge influence in his country not just from a football perceptive but also politically, and it’s a pity that circumstances have forced him to… In what I consider early retirement. But Denis knows my opinion, if he decides to share it then it’s for him to share it but I have given him my opinion and I would like it to stay between myself and Denis,” added Mokwena.

The three-time CAF XI goalkeeper helped Uganda end a nearly four-decade absence from Afcon after helping them qualify for the 2017 showpiece in Gabon.

RELATED STORY: How Pitso Mosimane endured teargas agony to unearth Denis Onyango

By Ofhani Munyai

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