Tuesday, May 4, 2010
It is sad, Obua is dead
Written by John Vianney Nsimbe
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:47
RIP: David Obua
Dennis Obua, the eccentric former FUFA president is dead. Obua died on this morning after collasing while attending a training session of ex-internationals at Nakivubo stadium.
It's not clear yet what could have been the cause of death but sources close to him reveal that he must have died as he was being rushed to hospital to try and save his life.
Obua is widely remembered as a legendary left-winger who served his country especially the fans with much joy and ecstasy because of his vast talent.
The father to current Cranes international David Obua, that plies his trade at Scottish Premier League club Hearts of Midlothian, Obua had retired from active football administration a few years ago. His last assignment was the CECAFA Presidency in 2008.
Born 13 June 1946, Obua has held a number of football administration positions from coach of Police FC in the 1990s and team manager of the national team.
In 2005, he was however arrested and imprisoned at Luzira for alleged misappropriation of FUFA funds and it was at that time that he lost the FUFA presidency. He has presently been doing private business.
The way Dennis Obua died puts to light the fact that many Ugandans are seen walk or even drive but when very unhealthy. It is said that Obua drove his car and got to the function where shortly he collapsed dead. There is need to get strategies to see how Health can be improved. My his soul rest in peace.
Former soccer supremo Obua is dead
Tuesday, 4th May, 2010
Obua (left) attends Ex-Internationals training at Nakivubo
By James Bakama
and Swalley Kenyi
IT was in Nakivubo stadium that Denis Obua shot to prominence as a talented left winger four decades ago. As fate would have it, it was on the same field that the soccer legend died.
Obua, 63 suffered a stroke at 10.30am yesterday and died as he watched fellow ex-internationals train on the same turf where decimated defence lines.
He collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at the nearby BAI Hospital.
The ex-internationals were preparing for a friendly game against Members of Parliament to raise funds for victims of Budada landslides. Obua, 63, an ex-international who featured in the Uganda Cranes in the 1970s, had reportedly complained about chest pain. A post-mortem report was not out by press time.
The retired Police officer who will be laid to rest later this week in Amolatar district, Lango, strived to make the best out of the beautiful game. He served as a player, coach and federation head and chairman of the regional body CECAFA.
His life will however always stand out as a classic case of two extremes. As a footballer, he was one of Uganda’s best talents, but as an administrator, he was probably one of the most controversial.
“I am yet to see a better player on the left flank,” noted Cranes’ longest serving captain Jimmy Kirunda. “He had a wonderful left that could do anything with the ball,” recounted Kirunda.
Obua was not only a swift dribbler, but also possessed a thunderous shot that salvaged Uganda on numerous occasions.
He was part of the Uganda side that regularly qualified for Africa’s top soccer competition- the Nations Cup finals.
Obua, a cousin to 1972 Olympic gold medallist John Akii-Bua, is also the father of Cranes utility player David Obua, URA striker Eric Obua and Kevin Obua, who turns out for secondary school giants St. Mary’s Kitende.
David Obua is currently one of the top players for Scottish Premier League side Hearts.
With such a solid standing in the game, Obua always had reason to brag that “I am football.”
His death came shortly after receiving an invitation to the May 15-30 Kagame CECAFA Club Championship. He had also been invited to the world’s bigeest soccer show, the 2010 World Cup due in South Africa next month.
On receiving the sad news, FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa revealed that Obua was among names lined up for the Uganda Cranes steering committee for the 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers.
But all was not rosy for Obua. His worst times were from 1998 to 2004 when he served as FUFA boss. Like most sports geniuses, Obua failed to lift his administrative abilities to the same level as his dazzling skills on the pitch.
The result was a bashing from the press. The same media, which had lifted him to the throne as a saviour from the disastrous Twaha Kakaire era, tore him to pieces.
It was in 2004 that a group of soccer activists calling themselves SOS emerged.
The group, desperate for change, caused Obua’s imprisonment for abuse of office. This was after his executive’s sacking by education and sports minister Namirembe Bitamazire.
Obua was however later released and the charges dropped.
Obua always had his battles with the media. A story is told in 1977 when then President Idi Amin, on a visit to the Cranes camp asked the players whether they had any problems.
Obua, who was unhappy with then Voice of Uganda sports editor Sammy Kateregga, told Amin that all was well except for Kateregga’s stinging reports.
“I am going to deal with him,” Amin is reported to have vowed without specifying what exactly he would do. Kateregga didn’t wait for Amin’s action, he boarded the first bus to Nairobi where he lived until Amin was deposed.
But amidst all his shortcomings FUFA boss Lawrence Mulindwa noted that Obua was a positive man.
“Despite losing the FUFA presidency in 2004 he worked with us to forge a way forward,” Mulindwa told a press conference at FUFA House yesterday.
The federation is planning to have the body at Nakivubo stadium for public viewing before its transportation to Lango. He leaves behind 18 children, and two wives.