Former Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Abel Dhaira was laid to rest Wednesday in Mayuge. The stadium where he started his career, Walukuba Tobacco ground, will be renamed Abel Dhaira stadium, soccer governing body FUFA revealed.
Thousands, including Iceland’s national soccer coach Heimir Hallgrimsson attended the burial ceremony for the former Cranes player, who died aged 28 last month, after battling cancer.
Cranes midfield ace Tonny Mawejje led the national football players in paying last respects to Dhaira, who ended his career at IBV Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland. There was a funeral service Monday at All Saints Church, Nakasero in Kampala and at All Saints Church in Walukuba, Jinja on Tuesday.
FUFA 1st Vice President, Justus Mugisha who represented the FUFA President informed the mourners that International football governing body President Giovanni Infantino and CAF had sent in written condolence messages.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Chris Dhaira, a family member thanked FUFA, the Government and the football fraternity.
“He suffered a lot of pain and went to seek better medical facilities from Iceland. Thereafter he succumbed to abdominal cancer on 27th March 2016. Before the government intervened, Iceland has proposed to cremate his body and bring ashes due to lack of financial stability of the family.
President Yoweri Museveni helped the family bring back home the body from Iceland and was represented by Lukia Isanga Nakadama, the Minister for Culture, Gender, Labour and Social Development.
I have received the sad news of the passing of our Ug Cranes goalkeeper Abel Dhaira who succumbed to cancer in Iceland. He’s gone too soon!
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) March 28, 2016
The deceased was born to Bright Dhaira and Nakijoba Harriet on 9th September 1987 in Walukuba village, Jinja. He was the third in six siblings. He won 3 CECEFA titles (2009, 2011, 2012), the best player in 2008 and first Ugandan goalkeeper to play in Europe League.
PHOTOS FROM THE BURIAL