Chris Kamara: The Blind Football League

Chris Kamara: The Blind Football League

Meet the man who introduced blind football to Uganda, in pictures

You may be in the UK or Europe right now, but you are likely well aware of the British football team.

But what does Uganda, the smallest country in the world, have to say about the world’s most popular sport?

Former World Cup-winning striker Chris Kamara has been living in Britain for the past 20 years. He has been playing football for more than 12 years, and is now the team’s all-time leading goalscorer.

“I started in a local league in Uganda where I scored over 600 goals,” he tells Mail Online.

But then, at the age of 22, Kamara went blind, and was forced to quit.

“I was depressed,” he says.

“I was told that I could no longer go to the clubs because I would not be able to see the goals I was shooting at.”

So instead, Kamara chose to turn his back on his footballing career and return to his job in construction.

In 2001, he got the idea to try to introduce football to the country, and asked former England cricketer and footballer Gary Lineker for help.

“We met and he said ‘Chris, you’ve got something here,’” Kamara says.

That’s when Kamara realised how crucial the sport was to the region.

He went back to Uganda and launched the International Blind Football League.

Chris Kamara is the all-time leading goalscorer for the Uganda Blind Football League.

“We had no money, no stadium, no organisation, and no vision to make it a reality. But if it could be started, it could be run by the players,” he explains.

Kamara’s hope was to create a community of blind footballers that would bring a new culture to Uganda.

But once again he had no support at home and struggled with the logistics of running the league from the UK – the very countries he hoped to bring football to.

In 2002, Kamara and a group of volunteers established the Uganda Blind Football League and became the first team to qualify for two consecutive Africa

Leave a Comment