For the last five years, the Airtel FUFA Awards have been successfully held at the lavish lake side Speke Resort in Munyonyo in Kampala under the theme “Celebrating Uganda’s Finest Footballers”.

The 2019 edition climaxed in the wee hours of Sunday, 15th December at the same aforementioned venue.

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) forward Allan Okello and Kawempe Muslim’s Juliet Nalukenge were crowned the male and female best footballers of the year, 2019.

Allan Okello and Juliet Nalukenge show off their awards

Okello, runners up in 2018 beat teammate Mustafa Kizza and Proline’s Bright Anukani to the accolade.

“Last year (2018), I was here and finished second. This year, I am a winner. My brothers Mustafa and Bright, I also congratulate you for making the final short list. I thank all my coaches right from my academy coach in Lira (coach Bob), coach Abdallah Mubiru (who coached me at Kibuli and took me to KCCA), coach Mike Mutebi who believed in us young players and coach Johnathan McKinstry for trusting me at the Uganda Cranes” Okello, who guided KCCA to the UPL league success in 2018-2019 season noted.

An equally ecstatic Nalukenge hailed the impact of coach Ayub Khalifa, her coach at the club (Kawempe Muslim) and the Uganda U-17 national team.

“I am very happy to have won this award. I thank my coach (Ayub), my teammates, my sister Lillian and everyone who pushed me all the way” Nalukenge stated.

Like the norm has been over the years, still the winners got Shs 1M, a medal and a car each.

Airtel – FUFA Male team of the year 2019

Other Winners:

There were several other awards given out on the night that was crowned by a musical performance by the on-form artist John Blaq.

Acholi Province fans were named the most outstanding fans group.

Sulaiman Ochero of St Lawrence University beach soccer team and the Uganda Sand Cranes team beat Ronald Mutebi and Herbert Luboyera to the best beach soccer player of the year.

FUFA 1st Vice President Justus Mugisha rewards Sulaiman Ochero, best beach soccer player

Airtel – FUFA Member Association of the Year award went to the Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA).

Egyptian based winger Abdul Lumala of Pyramids was named the outstanding foreign based player of the year.

Abdul Lumala was named best fans’ favourite foreign based player
SC Villa and Uganda U-20 Defender Gavin Kizito Mugweri was named best up-coming talent

The Airtel – FUFA Upcoming Talent of the Year was Gavin Kizito Mugweri of SC Villa and the Uganda U-20 National Team.

Kizito is a defender who captained the Uganda U-17 and U-20 teams at the AFCON U-17 and CECAFA U-20 championships.

The Uganda Cranes team of 1978, that reached the AFCON finals in the same year was named the Airtel – FUFA Best Squad (Team).

Some members on the Uganda Cranes team of 1978 with Somasekhar (left), Bernard Patrick Ogwel (second left), Prof. Mondo Kagonera (third from right) and FUFA Boss Moses Magogo (extreme right)

Airtel – FUFA Fair Play Award was granted to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club

Ayub Khalifa of Kawempe Muslim Women Football Club head coach, Assistant coach Crested Cranes, Head coach Uganda U-17 Women Team was named the female team coach of the year.

Khalifa was considered ahead of Oliver Mbekeka and Faridah Bulega.

Meanwhile, Shafiq Bisaso (Former Proline Head Coach) beat Mike Mutebi (KCCA) and Police’s Abdallah Mubiru.

Hussein Kato (right) recieves the best coach accolade on behalf of Shafiq Bisaso from McKinstry

Bisaso who is away on a study leave was represented by Proline chairman Hussein Kato.

He guided Proline to the Uganda Cup glory as the FUFA Big League success in the same year, beating Mutebi who won the StarTimes Uganda Premier League for KCCA.

Mike Mutyaba gets the trophy of the Airtel – FUFA Best XI team

Best XI Teams:

The Airtel – Male Best XI team had Joel Mutakubwa (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, John Revita, Halid Lwaliwa, Allan Kayiwa, Allan Okello, Shafiq Kagimu, Viane Ssekajugo, Mike Mutyaba and Bright Anukani.

The Airtel – Female Best XI consisted of Daisy Nakazkiro (GK), Florence Naziz, Shadia Nankya, Marion Amangat, Viola Namuddu, Rita Nabbosa, Phiona Nabbumba, Fauzia Najjemba, Mauren Kinavudori, Juliet Nalukenge and Nassuna Hasifa.

Each of the players on the male and female best eleven teams won Shs 1M and a medal.

The FUFA Nantameggwa Quiz Winner was Henry Lubulwa.

The high profile guest list had Prof. Mondo Kagonyera (represented first lady and minister of education and sports), V.G Somaeskhar (Airtel Uganda Managing Director), Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry, Owek. Henry Ssekabembe Kiberu (Minister of Sports, Leisure and Recreation in the Buganda Kingdom), former players, coaches and sponsors’ representatives.

Telecommunications giants Airtel Uganda for the fifth year running were the awards title and main sponsors.

Other partners included BetLion, EcoBank, National Insurance Corporation (NIC) among others.

All Winners (2019):

Airtel Male Footballer of the Year: Allan Okello (KCCA & Uganda Cranes)

Airtel Female Footballer of the Year: Juliet Nalukenge (Kawempe Muslim & Crested Cranes, Uganda U-17 National Team)

Airtel – FUFA Fans Team of the year: Acholi Province

Airtel – FUFA Beach Soccer Player of the Year: Sulaiman Ochero (St Lawrence University & Uganda Sand Cranes)

Airtel – FUFA Member Association of the Year: Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA)

Airtel – FUFA Fans Favourite Foreign based player of the Year:  Abdul Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt & Uganda Cranes)

Airtel – FUFA Upcoming Talent of the Year: Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa & Uganda U-20 National Team)

Airtel – FUFA Best Squad (Team): Team of 1978

Airtel – FUFA Fair Play Award: Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club

Airtel – FUFA Women Football Coach of the Year: Ayub Khalifa (Kawempe Muslim Women Football Club head coach, Assistant coach Crested Cranes, Head coach Uganda U-17 Women Team)

Airtel – FUFA Male Football Coach of the Year: Shafiq Bisaso (Former Proline Head Coach)

Airtel – Male Best XI: Joel Mutakubwa (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, John Revita, Halid Lwaliwa, Allan Kayiwa, Allan Okello, Shafiq Kagimu, Viane Ssekajugo, Mike Mutyaba, Bright Anukani

Airtel – Female Best XI: Daisy Nakazkiro (GK), Florence Naziz, Shadia Nankya, Marion Amangat, Viola Namuddu, Rita Nabbosa, Phiona Nabbumba, Fauzia Najjemba, Mauren Kinavudori, Juliet Nalukenge, Nassuna Hasifa

FUFA Nantameggwa Quiz Winner: Henry Lubulwa

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

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