Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) president Moses Magogo has hailed the Flames for qualifying for the 2021 Afcon finals, saying the Cranes lost fairly.
The Cranes, who just needed a draw against Malawi, were frustrated by the Flames who defied all odds to edge the visitors 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Monday.
Writing on his Facebook page, Magogo said the Flames deserved the victory.
“The better team on the pitch won, congratulations to Malawi,” he said.
Before the match, Fufa accused Football Association of Malawi (FAM) of trying to block some of Cranes players over Covid-19 tests.
Fufa lodged a complaint with Confederation of African Football (CAF) to intervene.
But all the Cranes players were cleared to play and Magogo said they had no excuse for the loss.
“We lost fairly after the authorities declared all our players Covid-19 negative and available for selection,” he said.
The Ugandans also alleged that the referee denied them a penalty, but Magogo dismissed this as well.
“The Mozambique referees were very fair to both teams at least in my view,” he said.
His FAM counterpart Walter Nyamilandu said the Flames deserve their place in the sun for punching above their weight “to come out bruised but triumphant”.
He said: “We were the underdogs and Uganda were the favourites, but the Flames’ fighting spirit was testimony of their gritty unwillingness to let the dream die.”
Baroka FC striker Richard Mbulu scored the decider that has taken Malawi to Cameroon 2022.
Uganda Cranes are ranked 83 by Fifa way above Malawi’s Flames who are on position 123 on world rankings.
They have been to the African showpiece seven times compared to only twice for the Flames.
Flames coach Meck Mwase said though many did not give Malawi a chance after losing to the Cranes 2-0 in the first leg, he never stopped believing in his charges.
His counterpart Abdallah Mubiri as well as captain Dennis Onyango were so bitter with the loss that they refused to grant post-match interviews to the media.