Meet the man who introduced blind football to Uganda and who is determined to change the game for the worse
If you ever find yourself on the streets of Kampala during the day, don’t let anyone tell you that it’s cold. It’s actually quite warm. But if anyone tries to tell you that it’s too hot in Kampala, they’re simply being told to shut up. It’s only in the evening, after dark, that it gets incredibly hot. I had never been to Uganda – a country where it seems we’re always on the go – and it wasn’t until I stumbled into Kasongo Stadium to watch the national team play in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, that I really began to understand the magnitude of what’s happening over there.
The day before, I had been in Kampala for a match with the U-14 team where their coach, Charles Musa, had just introduced blind football to them. “If there is anyone here who loves blind football, come here,” he said. “I am the only one that can explain it to you.” That night it hadn’t rained (at least not since January), nor had there been any real temperature drop. But the heat was still oppressive, and everyone was desperate to find a bit of shade. By seven in the evening, my head was spinning with more questions than I could answer.
To me, it seemed that the game was pretty much over. There was a game being played, but it wasn’t football and it wasn’t played in a football stadium. It was blind football. I turned to my friend, who would be there that night, and asked him: how is it going? His answer was that it was great. People are saying it’s the new football. People are talking about it constantly now. It’s a national project.
I knew he was right.