Fazil Ikwaput (left) and Ritah Nabbosa smile prior to checking in at the Entebbe International Airport departures Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Two top female footballers from Uganda, Fazila Ikwaput and Ritah Nabbosa on Thursday evening left the country for a professional stint in India with Gokulam Kerala women Football Club.

[/media-credit] Fazil Ikwaput (left) and Ritah Nabbosa smile prior to checking in at the Entebbe International Airport departures Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

The duo, both national team players (with Uganda Crested Cranes), have been key figures at Soroti based Olila High School Women football club who feature in the Uganda Women Football national league.

The two silky footballers departed aboard Ethiopian Airlines from Entebbe International Airport at around 6 pm after the full blessing of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and their parent club, Olila High.

They join Gokulam Kerala women football club, a debutant team in the India I-League in a deal brokered by FIFA licensed players’ agent Daniel Nkata.

[/media-credit] Fazila Ikwaput (left) and Ritah Nabbosa Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Ikwaput, 20 is the reigning FUFA Women footballer of the year. Her pace, sublime first touch, dribble and eye for goal will definitely inspire the Indian side to greater strides.

In an exclusive interview with Kawowo Sports on Thursday, Ikwaput noted;

 I am happy to leave Uganda and play professionally elsewhere.

This is a dream that all footballers (even men) always work for.

I will remain focused and determined to succeed. I thank my former club (Olila High School), coaches, administrators and even my fellow players for being part of my developmental process.

Once i am summoned for the national team, i also willing to return and play.

[/media-credit] Fazila Ikwaput (left) volleys against Burundi during her impressive showing with the Uganda Crested Cranes team Credit: FUFA Media

Nabbosa, 21, previously played at Mbarara based Western United Women Football Club before joining Olila High School in Soroti.

She is a workaholic female footballer with an awesome teamwork spirit and a box to box mentality.

Nabbosa eyes quick acclimatization to the entire Indian setting – weather, food, playing style and new teammates.

I am glad to have been identified for a chance to play professional football.

Every day, I have been working hard and this opportunity is a complete blessing to me that I will optimally utilize with open hands.

I thank everyone who has helped me in my football journey up to now.

I pray we get used to the weather, football style, food and everything in the quickest time possible.

[/media-credit] Ritah Nabbosa Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Their representative in India, Ntale believes this is a break through for many women footballers in Uganda and the East African region for buttered break elsewhere.

We have now made the break through to India.

This is a great opportunity for many more talented women footballers in Uganda to play in the professional setting in India.

All the necessary paperwork for Ikwaput and Nabbosa was completed and they will straight away join the teammates at Gokulam Kerala Women Football Club.

Gokulam Kerala Women Football Club is a professional football club based in Kozhikode, Kerala that will be playing for the first time in the India national women league.

For starters, the men version at Gokulam Kerala is proud home to two Ugandans – midfielder Musa Mudde and striker Henry Kisekka.

Once the entire licensing process for the two players is completed, they will join other female Ugandans featuring in the diaspora leagues as Jean Sseninde Namayega with Crystal Palace Ladies Women Football Club in the United Kingdom, Sandra Nabweteme and Joan Nakirya (South West Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) as well as Natasha Shirazi who features for Danish club, Ballerupskovlude Foothold BSF .

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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