Vipers Sports Club and Uganda Cranes midfielder Moses Waiswa, Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Crested Cranes goalkeeper Ruth Aturo were crowned as the best footballers of the season 2017/18 during a colourful ceremony held at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Friday night.
Waiswa was named the best among the male, beating the two other contestants on the final short list – Allan Okello (KCCA, Uganda U-20 and U-23) as well as Vianne Sekajugo (Onduparaka and Uganda Cranes).
Waiswa guided Vipers to the 2017/18 Uganda Premier League success, finishing second in the Stanbic FUFA Uganda Cup as well as being a key member on the Uganda Cranes as the team secured a second successive slot at the TOTAL Afcon finals in 2019.
Aturo beat Crested Cranes captain and Kawempe Muslim midfielder Tracy Jones Akiror as well as Uganda Martyrs High school Lubaga defender Shadia Nankya to the top gong.
The goalkeeper was outstanding in the Crested Cranes team during the CECAFA Women tournament held in Rwanda and the COSAFA championship in South Africa where Uganda was invited as a guest country.
In both tournaments, she was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Domestically, Aturo’s performance in the goal posts inspired UCU to their first major silverware when they clinched the FUFA Women cup.
Dr Lawrence Mulindwa was named the FUFA Presidential Awards winner, a special catergory selected by the FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo.
This award is conferred upon an individual who is deemed by the FUFA president to have contributed to the game of football exceptionally. Previous winners of this award included Paul Ssali, Ali Tomusange and Muhammood “Blatter” Kalema.
“I am very honoured to receive the FUFA Presidential award. I thank all those who came up with this idea of initiating awards to recognize the efforts of individuals in football. Football is a team sport and together we can achieve much more success with 2026 World Cup a top target” Dr. Mulindwa stated in his speech.
FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo, in his key note speech appreciated the role of all stake holders in developing the game right from the players, coaches, administrators, referees, fans, sponsors and government.
He categorically pointed out the value of team work in developing this beautiful game.
“Football is and will remain a team work sport. Collective responsibility is therefore a key pillar in this development process. I thank the government for having supported the development of football in particular and all the other key stake holders” Eng. Magogo noted.
Chief guest Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, also the FUFA third Vice president and state minister for Youth and children’s affairs congratulated all the different winners on the night.
She reiterated the strong value that the Government attaches to football and their endeavors to continue supporting the growth of the game of football among other games.
“Government will continue supporting football and other sporting disciplines. The success story for football in the recent past is no mean achievement. Please maintain the good transparency and accountable practices” Hon. Nakiwala remarked.
Ndejje University striker Noel Nasasaira, on loan from KCCA FC was named the Airtel FUFA Big League player of the year taking home Shs 4M and a 50 Inch Television set courtesy of the sponsors BetLion.
Nasasira received his trophy from Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre and the TV set from BetLion Managing Director Lionel Kabenge.
KCCA’s Mustafa Kizza took home the Airtel FUFA most promising player award (playing in the Star Times Uganda Premier League between 20-23 years of age).
KCCA Football Club manager Mike Mutebi took home the Airtel FUFA Coach of the year, like the script was in 2017 and 2016.
FIFA Referee Brian Miiro Nsubuga (Airtel FUFA referee of the year), Shamirah Nabukenya (Airtel FUFA Upcoming referee of year), Meddie Kibirige (Airtel FUFA Beach Soccer player of the year), Maroons Football Club (Airtel FUFA Fair play of the year), Allan Okello (Airtel FUFA fans’ favourite player of the year based in Uganda), Uganda Cranes captain Dennis Onyango (fans’ favourite Ugandan player – foreign based) and Khassim Kyazze (fan of the year).
The Airtel FUFA Best eleven of the season had SC Villa goalkeeper Samson Kirya, Paul Willa (Police), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA), Timothy Denis Awany (KCCA), Henry Katongole (Vipers), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA), Moses Waiswa (Vipers), Allan Okello (KCCA), Dan Muzeyi Sserunkuma (Vipers), Nelson Senkatuka (Bright Stars) and Viane Sekajugo (Onduparaka).
Meanwhile, Joseph Mubiru was named the 102.1 FUFA f.m best listener of the year.
The award winners received an instant cash reward each of Shs 1M, transferred electronically to their respective accounts.
Chairperson of the Airtel FUFA Awards organizing committee Rogers Byamukama thanked all the sponsors for putting the resources together to have an eventful ceremony.
Byamukama hinted on the significance of these awards as a motivational tool to the players, coaches and fans.
Airtel Uganda were the main flag ship sponsors of the awards also televised live on BBS Telefaina.
Other partners included Bet Lion, Nile Breweries Limited, National Insurance Corporation (NIC), Crown Beverages Limited, BUL Uganda Limited, Eco Bank, Uganda Premier League, Post Bank, BBS TV and 102.1 FUFA f.m.
Roll cast of Airtel FUFA Awards winners:
2018: Ruth Aturo (UCU Lady Cardinals and Crested Cranes)
2017: Fazilah Ikwaput (BIIK Kazygurtin, Kazakhstan and Crested Cranes)
2016: Hasifah Nassuuna (UCU Lady Cardinals and Crested Cranes)
2015: Sandra Nabweteme (South Western Oklahoma State University, USA and Crested Cranes)
2018: Moses Waiswa (Vipers and Uganda Cranes)
2017: Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA and Uganda Cranes)
2016: Muhammed Shaban (Raja Club, Morocco and Uganda Cranes)
2015: Farouk Miya (HNK Gorica, Croatia and Uganda Cranes)