Airtel Uganda rewards Uganda Cranes legends of 1978

There is a very strong bond between Airtel Uganda Limited and local football in Uganda.

This bond is beyond the sponsorship that the leading telecommunications company has for the Uganda Cranes, Airtel Rising Stars (U-17 girls and boys) and the famous Buganda Masaza cup.

But, rather, a humanitarian binding natural linkage that not even a natural earthquake can tear apart however strongly detected on the richter scale by seismograph.

By further cementing this altruistic partnership, Airtel Uganda has rewarded the Uganda Cranes squad of the famous 1978 tournament with a 4G Smart phone each (all those living).

For starters, Uganda Cranes reached the final of the 1978 tourney, bowing out to hosts and eventual winners Ghana, 2-0, albeit in heart breaking fashion.

The brief function was held at FUFA Headquarters in Mengo, Kampala on Monday, 6th January 2020 with four of the legends present.

Goalkeeper Paul Ssali, Ashe Mukasa, Barnabus Mwesigwa and Abbey Nassur were present at the momentous event.

The other living legends will get their phones in the due course.

The donations were in fulfillment of the pledge promised by the Airtel Uganda Managing Director VG Somasekhar during the 2019 Airtel FUFA Awards at the lavish Serena Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo.

Airtel Uganda was represented by the head of public relations, Sumin Namaganda who delivered the phones.

We keep a reference to the team that went to Kumasi Ghana and represented us at the AFCON finals. We are here today to give you My First 4G Smartphones to power your connectivity

Sumin Namaganda, Airtel Uganda Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Sumin Nagamanda, Airtel Uganda Public Relations Officer (PRO)

“During the Airtel FUFA Awards 2019 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, the Airtel Uganda Managing Director VG Somasekhar made a commitment to honor living 1978 legends and I am here to fulfill his pledge. We are graciously happy to have some of them now and we promise to keep honoring you. As Airtel Uganda we shall continue supporting football in Uganda because we believe it is the tenacity that will take this country to another level. We shall continue our sponsorships to football in Uganda and partnerships” Namaganda noted.

FUFA first vice president Justus Mugisha, flanked by the CEO Edgar Watson lauded Airtel Uganda for this gesture.

We thank Airtel for the boundless support to football.  It’s such great gesture of coming up to recognize the football icons in addition to sponsoring the Uganda Cranes, Regional tours, Airtel Rising Stars and the Airtel FUFA Awards. I urge all Ugandans especially football lovers to support Airtel because they also inject in the beautiful game” Mugisha remarked.

Ashe Mukasa was full of smiles as he passed on the vote of thanks on behalf of the legends.

On behalf of the 1978 Uganda Cranes squad, I thank FUFA for the invitation to the Airtel FUFA Awards because we never expected the invitation. We also thank Airtel for the gifts and we also promise to stick to Airtel because it is the only we can express our real gratitude.

Ashe Mukasa, Uganda Cranes Legend
Sumin Nagamanda hands over Ashe Mukasa his 4G Smart phone as Justus Mugisha and Edgar Watson look on

The 1978 Uganda Cranes team stands out as the cream de-la-creame of the national teams that Uganda has ever produced for having played the AFCON tournament up to the final game.

L-R: Jimmy Kirunda, Paul Ssali, Tom Lwanga, Moses Nsereko (RIP), Eddie Ssemwanga (RIP), Abbey Nasur, Sam Musenze (RIP), Godfrey Kisitu (RIP), Phillip Omondi (RIP), Mike Kiganda (RIP), Fred Isabirye (RIP) line up before the final against Ghana Black Stars (Courtesy photo)

The famous 1978 Uganda Cranes Squad:

Goalkeepers: Paul Ssali (Simba), Jamil Kasirye (KCC), Hussein Matovu (KCC)

Defenders: Mike Diku, Jimmy “The Kaizer” Kirunda (Captain, KCC), Meddie Lubega, Tom Lwanga (KCC), Rashid Mudin (KCC), Jimmy Muguwa, Ashe Mukasa (KCC),  Sam “Life Captain” Musenze (KCC)

Midfielders: , Moses “Master Planner” Nsereko (KCC), Timothy Ayiekoh (KCC), Mike “The Computer” Kiganda (Express), Godfrey Kisitu (Simba), Henry Matte (Express)

Forwards: Barnabas Mwesiga (Nsambya), Abdulla Nasur (Maroons), Edward Semwanga (Maroons), Fred Isabirye (Simba), Phillip Omondi (KCC), Polly Ouma (Simba), Moses Sentamu

Head coach: Peter Okee

Fufa has embarked on the regulation of academies and key among them will be mentorship. We invite you, our former players, to take part in mentoring them. FUFA indeed considers former players and we’re studying a project on how FUFA will be taking care of the former players

Edgar Watson, FUFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

David Isabirye

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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