As football alongside all sport remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic which has hit the world. While there is no activity at the moment, there is a lot that we should take a look back at.
Becoming the best in sport at any level takes more than just talent. Not so many footballers have gotten a chance to feature on the final shortlist for the player of the year award. And when one makes it, that achievement alone is enough to live on through the years.
In 2015, the FUFA introduced the Airtel Awards that seek to recognize the most outstanding individual in a given category – the most coveted being the MVP’s Award that recognizes the best male and female footballers of the season.
Today’s offering revisits a lustrum that would change the landscape of Ugandan football forever. We take a look at the players who have been crowned FUFA Player of the Year and the powerlines that drew them into the position since inception.
2015 – Farouk Miya, Vipers SC
Farouk Miya was the inaugural winner of the Airtel FUFA players of the year award, beating teammate Keziron Kizito and Yasser Mugerwa.
Miya was the winning captain as Uganda won her 14th CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia. He scored 7 goals in total for the National teams including a memorable goal at Uyo stadium when Uganda humbled Nigeria 1-0 at home.
Miya also scored a classic goal against Rwanda in the Africa U-23 championship qualifier at Nakivubo.
While he ended up with eleven in the league, six were match-winning goals including the second against SC Villa in a title decider.
Against URA in Buikwe and Kira Young in Namboole, Miya scored goals that brought Vipers back into the game when they seemed dead and buried.
2016 – Muhammad Shaban, Onduparaka FC
Muhammed Shaban guided Onduparaka to automatic qualification to the Azam Uganda Premier League with 13 goals. He also finished top scorer of the Uganda Cup with 7 goals when his club fell to Vipers SC 3-1 in the Final held at Nakivubo stadium.
Shaban had already scored 6 goals in the UPL league. 2016 will always be a historic year for Shaban as he made his international debut for Cranes against Zambia at Namboole stadium and was an unused substitute when Cranes beat Congo Brazzaville 1-0.
The award also got him a feat at the Total Africa Cup of Nations Finals with the Cranes in Gabon.
2017 – Muzamir Mutyaba, KCCA FC
Muzamiru Mutyaba was a true definition of a contemporary attacking midfielder. Very calm on and off the ball, Mutyaba had enviable close ball control, quick thinking and a great passer of the ball.
To supplement the aforementioned attributes, he scored crucial and odd goals as well for KCCA FC and helped the team to defend the Azam Uganda Premier league crown, scoring 6 and creating 8-goals.
On the national team, Mutyaba is best remembered for the brace against Rwanda at the St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende during the first leg of the TOTAL CHAN Championship of African Nations (CHAN) final round qualifier as the Uganda Cranes triumphed 3-0 on the day.
He was part of the return leg in Nyamirambo as Uganda booked a final berth to the final tournament, progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
His immense contribution also witnessed KCCA FC win the FUFA Uganda Cup, thereby clinching the club’s first domestic double in history.
Mutyaba also helped KCCA FC reach the group stages of the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup – the first for a Ugandan club since a change of format in 2004.
2018 – Moses Waiswa, Vipers SC
Moses Waiswa guided Vipers to the 2017/18 Uganda Premier League success, finishing second in the Stanbic FUFA Uganda Cup. He was also a key member of the Uganda Cranes that secured a second successive slot at the TOTAL AFCON Finals in 2019.
2019 – Allan Okello, KCCA FC
After winning the Football 256 Player of the year award, the youngster bagged the award after seeing off stiff competition from his Club-mate Mustafa Kizza and Proline’s Bright Anukani.
Okello won the 2018/2019 StarTimes Uganda Premier League, the FUFA Super Cup, and the CECAFA Kagame Cup. He was also part of the Cranes team that qualified for the 2020 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) in Cameroon.
Okello has since departed KCCA FC for Algerian outfit Paradou AC.
Three of the players on the list are plying their trade in football outside Uganda. Farouk Miya currently plays for Turkish club Konyaspor, Moses Waiswa is at SuperSport United while Allan Okello is in Algeria.
Muhammed Shaban has had a stint outside Uganda and returned after failing to find a spark at Moroccan Club, Raja Casablanca.
Only Muzamir Mutyaba has not played outside Uganda.
This year’s award remains in doubt as sport remains caged under the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.