Kampala. The annual Airtel-Fufa best male player award ought to be won by the best player in the country, but it doesn’t feel as though that happened this year.
Granted, Moses Waiswa, who beat Allan Okello and Viane Sekajugo is a joy to watch and has obviously showed shades of potential with the national team, but there was also something distinctly underwhelming about his victory considering he wasn’t the driving force behind Vipers’ league triumph last season.
Dan Sserunkuma was, but for his tremendous displays with a struggling Express and breathing life into Vipers’s derailing campaign midway the season, got a mere mention in the best the Fufa best 11, hurting.
To see Waiswa cruising home the Mark II Grande car prize, even when faced with ‘featherweight’ opposition from Okello and Sekajugo, strips the award of loads of its credibility and leaves a lot to be desired. Just last year, Muzamir Mutyaba trounced 32-goal hero Geoffrey Sserunkuma to lift the gong exactly 12 months after then Onduparaka budding striker Muhammad Shaban defied the odds to beat fans favourite Denis Onyango.
That Okello, for his relatively modest performances as KCCA swept to the Uganda Cup triumph and Caf Champions League group stages and Sekajugo, that won the easy-to win Fufa Drum tourney stood a chance to win, points to the wanting selection criteria. Not even that ‘the 16 league coaches were engaged’ plea by Fufa would calm down the purists.
With a calculated smile, Waiswa drew out an already written speech from his light blue blazer to read out - another sign of confidence.
“It is been a long journey for me but I can now comfortably say, the dream has come true.
“When I decided to return from Sweden and play here, many thought I had made a bad decision but I don’t regret. I want to thank the Almighty Allah, my family, my team Vipers, the Uganda Cranes family, the coaches, fellow players, Fufa and fans because we have moved the journey together and I hope this will motivate me to work harder,” he said.
FUFA-Airtel roll of honour
Male player of the year: Moses Waiswa
Female player of the year: Ruth Aturo
Presidential Award: Dr Lawrence Mulindwa
Big League: Noel Nasasaira (Ndejje)
Most promising player: Mustafa Kizza
Coach of the year: Mike Mutebi
Referee of the year: Brian Nsubuga
Upcoming referee: Shamirah Nabukenya
Beach Soccer player: Meddie Kibirige
Fair play award: Maroons
Fans’ favourite player - based in Uganda
Fans’ favourite player – foreign based)
Fan of the year: Khassim Kyazze