It is every one dream to meet and savour coveted photo moments with soccer stars.
The five Uganda children got their chance when they were part of the player escorts for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal clash between Senegal and Benin at the 30th June Stadium on Wednesday.
The children included Prince Musasizi, a 12-year-old student in P5 at Kampala Quality School, Ariana Kwezira, in P3 at Gombe Junior Sachool-Kikajjo, Joy Tendo Kusiima of Hillside Primary School Naalya, Ryan Melone Rays Anzo and Patience Ogwang.
They came with their parents as part of Visa and Centenary Bank sponsorship for Afcon 2019. The children are part of 1,100 young ones on this year’s Player Escort Programme (PEP). Several other children flew into Egypt from Kenya and South Africa.
Musasizi, who moved with Benin striker Steve Mounie of now championship side Huddersfield said he was delighted. “I feel great holding a professional player, maybe it will inspire me to develop my soccer career,” Musasizi said.
Tendo Kusiima, was equally elated to accompany star players to the field. She was holding Sessi D’Almeida, a midfielder with Yeovil Town FC, which plays in National League, the fifth tier of the English Football League (EFL).
Their parents were also thrilled to be part of the tour. Andrew Kasujja, father of Musasizi, described the trip as a once in a lifetime experience but could not hide his disappointment for the game not being one of Uganda Cranes’ matches.
“I wish it was Cranes in action. It could have been great,” Kasujja, a Digital Financial Service Consultant, told the Daily Monitor. Cranes lost to Senegal 1-0, in the round of 16 at Cairo International Stadium, a week ago.
Other parents present included; Judith Nampeera, mother to Ariana Kwezira and Christine Nalukenge, mother to Joy Tendo Kusiima, who both expressed their gratitude to Visa and Centenary Bank for giving them and their children the opportunity to be part of Afcon.