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“On The Pitch We Are Rivals, But We Are Family Too”
The Uganda rugby fraternity has been hit by the sudden death of a player during a match at the Jinja Dam waters grounds.
Yusuf Saidi, a senior four student at Jinja Senior Secondary School collapsed during the Uganda Cup rugby tie between Nile Rugby FC and Toyota Buffaloes. Buffaloes went on to win the game 64 – 3.
Emmanuel Ikonde, his schoolmate who was at the grounds said he (Saidi) complained of having Malaria and not feeling well but for the love of playing rugby, he insisted on playing.
“Yusuf was also fasting and by the time he collapsed, it was close to 7:00pm Muslims are supposed to break their fast,” Ikonde said.
He narrated that Saidi played for some minutes and walked off the pitch after realising he was not feeling well. However he defied the team doctor’s orders and got back on the pitch.
Ikonde said he suddenly collapsed shortly after getting back on pitch. Good Samaritans who rushed to help him found he was gasping for air since he also felt difficulties in breathing.
He was rushed to Jinja hospital but died on the way. His body was taken to Jinja regional referral hospital mortuary.
Peace Sauda, a relative to Saidi stated that while they were home, they received a phone call informing them that Saidi had fallen in the dam.
“We later received a second phone call from friends that Saidi was hit as he was playing a rugby game and collapsed on the pitch,” Sauda said.
She added that Saidi left home in the morning showing no signs of illness.
She said Saidi’s body was first taken to Danida in Walukuba/Masese division in Jinja town where he has been residing with his relatives. He was to be laid to rest at Mzee Rashid’s place in Lugalambo village Sunday.
RIP Yusuf Saidi