BY KITS MIIRO. Kitende based Vipers Sports Club midfielder, Moses Waiswa on Friday evening beat KCCA FC’s Allan Okello and Onduparaka’s Vianey Ssekajugo to be crowned male footballer of the year in the 2018 Airtel FUFA awards. The awards held at Speke Resort in Munyonyo on Friday evening saw Waiswa, who guided Vipers’ to clinch the Uganda Premier League title appreciated for his efforts during the entire 2017/ 2018 season that also saw him earn a place in the Cranes team. Despite guiding his team to the league title, Waiswa’s recent spectacular performance in the middle of the pack while on national duty that saw him being part of the team that qualified for the 2019 Afcon finals could have had increased his chances to beat Okello who was instrumental in KCCA’s CAF Champions League journey. On the other side, despite guiding Buganda region to lifting the FUFA Drum tournament and his recent form, Vianey Ssekajugo was short of credentials to win the male footballer of the year gong. Speaking shortly after being crowned, Waiswa applauded his coaches and fellow players for the encouragement they gave him and enabled him put up good performance last season. “Returning from Sweden back home was not an easy decision but now is the time to set new targets in my life,” Waiswa said. In other awards, KCCA FC gaffer, Mike Mutebi beat departed former Vipers coach Miguel Da Costa to win the coach of the year award whereas UCU and Crested Cranes’ Ruth Aturo was crowned female player of the year. Allan Okello was voted fans local favourite player of the year. Speaking at the function, FUFA president Moses Magogo said the awards are a big step towards development and professionalization of the game of football in Uganda. “Such awards are good to help put up competition among players to work better and this takes the game of football forward,”Magogo said. He applauded President Museveni for his efforts in the development of the game in the country saying he has put in place an enabling environment for football to thrive. “Whatever we are achieving, you never know we could not have achieved it if it was not for the enabling environment. On top of that government has given us money that has helped propel the game to another level.”
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