The voting net in the annual Airtel-Fufa Awards has been cast wide to include coaches, club captains and the fans.
This must have been informed by the previous discomfort from some quarters over the choice of the last four winners.
Remmy Kisakye, the head - brand and communications at Airtel-Uganda, before handing over a Shs100m sponsorship dummy cheque, minced no words while calling for transparency in the voting process to erase any trace of discontent that particularly characterised reigning MVP Moses Waiswa’s choice and predecessor Muzamir Mutyaba.
“I urge the organisers to be transparent and unveil the mechanics and all the voting processes to the public. As a brand, we still reaffirm our position to development football in Uganda and we believe it will be a success,” she revealed.
Call for accountability
The same clarion call was reechoed by Post Bank Marketing Manager Prim Kobusinge. “As a bank, we believe in accountability which should be associated with the awards. We are going to renew our three-year deal because we are happy with the first one.”
The awards launch at Serena Hotel yesterday saw new categories being introduced including Best XI for women, best women football coach of the year, Fufa Member Associations’ Award and the Team Fans of the Year while the first phase of voting for best player in both men and women categories swelled to 16 and 12 nominees respectively.
The panel of coaches and club captains that voted the first batch will then sit on October 30 to determine the five-man shortlist at which stage the fans will be welcomed to cast their votes.
Acting Fufa president Justus Mugisha acknowledged they are making progress with the awards and they hope it will be a success come December 14 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
“In order to be number one in Africa, we had to reward excellency through the awards which we launched awards in 2015. They have become a permanent fixture and every year they are one of the most anticipated events,” said Mugisha.
They were concerns over the omission of players like Timothy Awany, Juma Balinya, Patrick Kaddu and Allan Kyambadde, who achieved milestones in the calendar year but have been locked out since going professional recently.
KCCA defender John Revita, who had a decent season with Express last term remained the biggest oversight which potentially leaves clubmates Mike Mutyaba, Allan Okello and Mustapha Kizza as the probable candidates for the final shortlist.