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Freed Ugandan fans turn to Kagame for London trip to watch Arsenal

Author: BBC | Published: Saturday, January 28, 2023

Police officers arrest an Arsenal supporter who was involved in 'premier league' trophy parade in Jinja on January 23, 2023. (Photo: Philip Wafula/Daily Monitor).

Arsenal fans who were freed after arrest for celebrating the club’s win against Manchester United have appealed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame to help them travel to London to watch a home match at the Emirates Stadium.

Felix Bagiire, a radio presenter, said Mr. Kagame was a renowned Arsenal fan who they admire.

Making the request to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni would “politicize everything”, he added.

“Man United fans talked a lot before the match, they even went to church hours before the match, and [ex-Manchester United player] Gary Neville has been trashing our team’s chances so beating them made us very happy,” Mr. Bagiire said.

Seven of those arrested were released after a night in custody where police interrogated them for any links to opposition politics.

Police said the one who remains in custody had been linked to a previous incident of theft.

Upon their release on Tuesday, the group was invited to the capital, Kampala, where they met police spokesperson Fred Enanga

They also met Asan Kasingye, the chairman of Arsenal fans in Uganda.

Arsenal scored a dramatic last-minute goal to win 3-2 in Sunday’s match against fierce rivals Manchester United.

The fans believe Mikel Arteta has instilled enough confidence in the team to battle for the premier league title.

Mr. Bagiire said they will mobilize 10,000 fans in May to celebrate Arsenal’s victory – which they are sure is on the cards.

“I started supporting Arsenal when Thierry Henry was playing and I’ve never seen them lift the trophy,” he said. “This is our chance.”

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