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Former Arsenal striker and Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu set to visit Uganda

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Nwankwo Kanu

By Robert Kayindi James

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2015 was a historical year in the records of the football fraternity in Uganda as the country hosted and entertained some of soccer’s greatest players ever in the names of Patrick Kluivert, Anderson Decco, Gialunca Zambrotta who came with the Barcelona legends.

The Pearl of Africa is now expecting to host former Arsenal striker and Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu who will be in the country next week as we prepare to entertain Burkina Faso in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.

Kanu will be setting foot in the country for the second time following his first visit in 2007 as a player with the Super Eagles of Nigeria that faced off with the Cranes in the 2008 AFCON qualifiers.

His planned visit is being spearheaded by Star-Times and according to the pay TV’s marketing manager Aldrine Nsubuga, the two time African player of the year (1996 & 98) will be here for numerous reasons but first will be to support the Cranes as they play Burkina Faso on 29th March at Namboole Stadium.

“On arrival at Entebbe airport, a press conference will be held and he will later move to Namboole to cheer the Cranes against the Stallions. He will be part of the inspection team on the day and if all goes as planned, he is to visit the Cranes’ dressing room before the match to give them courage,” Aldrine Nsubuga is quoted by Kawowo.

The 39-year-old star is also expected to be the chief guest at a commercial fixture between Star Times’ locally sponsored clubs in KCCA FC and SC Villa on 30th March, 2016 at the Phillip Omondi Stadium.

Nwankwo Kanu’s European footballing career kicked off at Ajax where he won 3 league titles and the UEFA Champions League in 1995. He then joined Inter Milan for a brief spell, winning the UEFA Cup before joining Arsenal in 1999 for £4.15M. With the gunners, the African star went on to win 2 Premier League titles and 2 FA Cups. He later on featured for Portsmouth where he won the FA Cup in 2007/2008.

On the international scene, Kanu was part of the Nigerian U-17 World Cup winning team in 1993, was also part of the Olympic Gold medal winning team in 1996 in Atlanta. He also won the BBC African footballer of the year in 1997 and 1999 before being a runner up for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000.

Being a survivor of a heart problem in the early 90s, Kanu will pay a courtesy visit to Mulago heart institute where he is expected to do charity and donate equipment.

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Sports

UTB partners with FUFA to promote sports tourism

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UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova signs the MoU with FUFA to promote sports tourism.

UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova signs MoU with FUFA to promote sports tourism.

By Our Reporter

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has entered into a Ugx200m sponsorship agreement and partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) as the official tourism partner.

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The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding; which will see both parties work hand in hand to promote brand “destination Uganda” at both the domestic and international scene.

The partnership gives UTB rights to brand Destination Uganda at local and international games in which the Uganda Cranes are participating as well as work with the players in destination marketing campaigns.

Speaking at the press conference, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said: “The Uganda Tourism Board is prioritizing the building of positive destination brand equity and brand value through creating high level brand awareness partnerships such as the one witnessed here today with FUFA.”

Football is the world’s greatest sport and viewed by billions of fans across the world. In Uganda, the Uganda Cranes is the greatest football brand- but more importantly the leading sporting ambassadors to the region and the world.

Ajarova noted, “We are most excited about how we can best brand our national team internationally and also use the FUFA DRUM to create awareness of Uganda’s tourist attractions as the games traverse the whole country. We believe this is an incredible opportunity to connect with local communities and football fans across the country and will enable us to reach out to more tourists both locally and internationally.”

FUFA 1st Vice President, Justus Mugisha in his remarks said that, “We are using the power of sports to position Uganda on a global scene. This initiative by FUFA and UTB will showcase how football can be used to promote destination Uganda. We are proud to be in partnership and we hope to continue building our nation through sports and tourism.”

He added, this is a big opportunity for us to not only support football but also enrich Ugandans with the knowledge about their own country.

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Uganda ladies crowned champions at the Africa 5s tournament

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By Our Reporter

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Team Uganda emerged the best at the inaugural edition of the ladies’ Africa Fives Soccer Championships played at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania over the weekend.

The team sponsored by Nile Special comprising of players like Vanessa Karungi, Brenda Nabisaalu, Wilmer Nantumbwe, Sarah Namulindwa, Memory Nampijja and Brenda Makanga, defeated the Tanzania Invitational side 1-0 in the final played on Saturday afternoon.

Captain Nampijja scored the winner-takes-it-all strike in the ninth minute of the 12-minute first half.

With a large number of Tanzanian fans cheering, Uganda held on in the second half with goalkeeper Karungi pulling off a couple of saves to guide Uganda to victory.

“We are happy to bring this trophy home,” said winning captain Nampijja after receiving the trophy from tournament ambassador Samuel Eto’o. The team will travel with former Cameroonian forward Eto’o to FC Barcelona’s home -Camp Nou.

Speaking about the women’s side triumph, Nile Special brand manager Francis Nyende was ecstatic and visibly in shock at the result.

“This Uganda’s inaugural participation in this tournament, and we have won the trophy! This is unbelievable. Kudos to the girls who have given it their everything. As a brand heavily involved in sports, we hope this victory will inspire more ladies to play this game,” said Nyende.

The team had beaten pre-tournament favourites South Africa 2-1 via a shootout where Karungi saved two penalties following a goalless draw.

In the quarterfinals, Uganda comfortably beat Ghana 3-0 with Nantumbwe striking twice. Uganda had beaten Zimbabwe 2-1, had a 1-1 draw with Tanzania A before losing to Swaziland 1-0 in Group A on Friday.

In the men’s category, Uganda was unlucky to be ejected after conceding a goal. Represented by Facebook FC franchise, which won the Nile Special 5-A-Side competition finals, Uganda beat Swaziland 5-0, Zimbabwe 1-0 and Tanzania 1-0 to top Group A on Friday but on Saturday, they lost to Group B bottom team Zambia 2-1 via penalties following a 0-0 stalemate.

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Excitement as Pepsi hosts champions league finale watch party

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Win like a baller promotion

By Our Reporter

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Football lovers and enthusiasts were treated to a fun evening as Pepsi Uganda hosted the UEFA Champions league finale watch party on Saturday.

Held at The Square in Industrial Area, Liverpool supporters were the most joyous as their team defeated Tottenham Hot Spurs 2-0 to win this season’s UEFA Champions League.

The viewing party featured several fun activities including a quiz in which winners were rewarded different prizes like balls, jerseys and cash.

The event was held to mark the climax of Pepsi Uganda’s “Win like a baller” promotion. The promotion which was launched in early February presented a platform for soccer fans and lovers to win up to Ugx 15 million weekly in a TV draw and instant cash and airtime daily. Over Ugx 400 million was given out during the duration of the campaign.

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