Man of the moment Farouk Miya paid a courtesy visit to Uganda Broadcasting Corporation today.
The Belgium-based star scored Uganda’s only goal as the Cranes beat Comoros on Sunday to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) that will take place in Gabon next year.
Uganda has not been at Afcon for over 38 years and Miya’s first-half goal didn’t only heal wounds of the local soccer fanatics but also – to an extent – restored East Africa’s football pride.
“I can’t quite describe my feeling on scoring,” he said with a smile. “We had been very close many times but failed so I didn’t want to get carried away. In football, every second counts so I needed to stay calm throughout, and that was tough after the goal. When that ball went in, my mind was on God and my mother, and the Ugandans; how much they love me.”
Miya who had his mother Ms Mutesi Miya in tow thanked Ugandans for the support they showed the Cranes throughout the qualification campaign.
“The future of football is in the hands of the supporters,” Miya said. “It’s the fans who make things happen; their money develops the sport and most importantly their support drives on the team. You have seen small teams doing very well because of their fans. I thank the fans and hope that they continue with us on this journey.”
Ms Mutesi hailed UBC for being with the Cranes from day one.
“I think, as a country, we have made history together with UBC,” she said. “There is a time when people lost hope and they shunned the stadium but UBC never failed to broadcast Cranes matches.”
After his interview with UBC-Tonight (it will be in our news 7PM, 8PM and 10PM), the soft-spoken Miya met the UBC TV manager Ms Jane Kasumba who looked overjoyed.
“I had to bring him here before he flies back to Belgium tonight,” Miya’s mother said. “UBC feels like home. It is the national broadcaster and I know a few people around; in fact, a few years back Miya’s auntie (Zuhura Miya) was working here as the Human Resource Manager.”
Miya now plays for Belgian side Standard Liege and he will leave Uganda for Belgium tonight.