Fallen former Cranes goalkeeper Abel Dhaira’s funeral service was held on Monday at All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero.
A Dhaira cancer Foundation will be set up in honour of Dhaira who succumbed to cancer in Iceland during Easter festivities.
Speaking at the requiem mass, an official from the Football Players Association, said together with the cancer Institute Mulago, a game has been organised by all football players at Nakivubo 16th April in Dhaira’s honour.
Present at the mass were officials from Express FC, URA FC and Cranes Cricket clubs.
“The community of football, we have lost a great player and we promise to keep in touch with the family. Dhaira, we will miss your humour and talent, till we meet again, RIP,” read their messages.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago asked Uganda Cranes, in honour of their fallen brother Dhaira, to make him proud by qualifying for the AFCON 2017.
“Dhaira, gone too soon. God’s judgement is final and no one can avoid it, RIP,” Lukwago said.
According to Uganda’s football governing body [FUFA], Dhaira turned down an under 20 offer, he said he was above 20 which is so rare while others lie.
“He was a professional. We are going to use Dhaira’s death as a motivation in all games and campaigns,” FUFA said.
Minister of State for Sports Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi said Dhaira dedicated his life to sports, was talented and disciplined.
“Together, let us rise up and fight against this killer disease cancer.”
The National Council of Sports recognised Dhaira’s contribution towards football praying that his legacy becomes a source of inspiration.
Dhaira’s thanked President Kaguta Museveni, FUFA, URA, KCC and all those who ensured that Dhaira’s body returns home.
The family refused to have Dhaira cremated because they wanted to bury him.
“Dhaira was a strong man but due to too much pain, he reached a point and preferred to rest. Great thanks to all Ugandans for the love you have showed us during this trying period,” the family said in a general message.
His body has been taken to Nakivubo stadium for a public viewing.