On Monday, May 25, Jimmy Kirunda collapsed dead while jogging around Bwaise, Kampala.
Kirunda is one of Uganda’s most iconic football figures having played at five AFCON finals.
The former KCCA FC, SC Villa and Express FC player captained the Uganda Cranes at three AFCON finals, including the historic 78 showpiece game against Ghana.
As the football fraternity mourns him, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has also joined in on the act.
Infantino wrote a condolence message to the FUFA President Eng Moses Magogo.
“I would like to express my sincerest and heartfelt condolences on the passing of former international player and coach, Jimmy Kirunda. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel for this lossaffecting Uganda football.”
“During his playing career, Jimmy captained Uganda’s national team during ten years, and participated in three CAF Africa Cups of Nations in 1974, 1976 and in 1978, where the Cranes reached the final, their best performance until today. During his time with the national team, he also won five CECAFA
“At club level, he will be remembered for his career at Express FC and KCC FC, where he notably won three league titles and two Uganda cups, SC Villa, where he added one league title and one Uganda Cup to his trophy room, as well as Abu Dhabi Sports Club in the UAE.”
“After his retirement, he managed different clubs in Uganda, as well as the national team between 1989 and 1996, winning three CECAFA Cup titles in 1989, 1990 and 1992.
“Uganda football legend, longest serving national team captain, considered as one of the greatest African players of his generation, defender with style, class and elegance, but also top scorer of the national league, his legacy and achievements, and in particular his friendly personality, his leadershipand his human qualities will not be forgotten, and he will be truly missed.”
“On behalf of the international football community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Federation of Uganda Football Associations, and to Jimmy’s family, friends and loved ones. Our thoughts are with all of you.
“We hope that these memories and our words of support may help bring some peace and solace at this difficult time.”