Tongues are waggling after Onduparaka star player Shaban Mohammed scooped the male most valuable player of the year in the 2016 Airtel – FUFA awards. While many expected the award to go to the clear favourites Dennis Onyango or Farouk Miya, the Arua based team captain carried the day.
After credible nominations are made, an award is run like elections where the public is expected to vote and these awards were no exception. Onduparaka continues to defy all odds. Thanks to Onduparaka’s passionate fans, they voted in big numbers. They have infused energy and passion to local football unlike any other club. They maintain an active Facebook page with over 9,400 fans. They used the platform to mobilise votes for their star player. As an upcountry team, this is very commendable. It is therefore not surprising that they have attracted sponsorship.
Shaban has been a prolific player in the local soccer. He netted a massive 30 goals in a season in all competitions that is 16 in the FUFA Big League, 7 in the Uganda Cup and 7 and still counting in the Uganda Premier League and 4 in Uganda Cranes regional tours.
He played a pivotal role in guiding his then little known club, Onduparaka FC to the Azam Uganda Premier League where they have upset several big names including SC Villa, Express and URA. Shaban was also the joint top scorer in the Uganda cup and was voted the FUFA Big League best player.
Similarly, Farouk Miya and Dennis Onyango have been outstanding for their foreign clubs and country. However, for the sake of local soccer Shaban deserved to the award.
The ceremony was held at Victoria Hall of the Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo in Kampala.
Most Valuable Players of the Year
Male: Shaban Mohammad (Onduparaka)
Female: Hasifa Nassuuna (Kawempe Muslim S.S)
Coach of the Year: Mike Mutebi
FUFA team of the year:
Mathias Muwanga (GK), Denis Okot, Joseph Ochaya, Musa Walangalira, Halid Lwaliwa, Ibrahim Kayiwa, Muzamir Mutyaba, Keziron Kizito, Robert Sentongo, Shaban Mohammad and Erisa Ssekisambu.
Beach Soccer Player of the year: Roch Somoka (Nkumba Select)
Fair Play Award: Vipers Sports Club
Referee of the year: Ivan Kintu Bayige (FIFA Beach Soccer Referee)
FUFA Presidential Award: Ali Tomusange (Retired FIFA Referee who officiated at the 2002 World Cup)
Fans favourite player of the year (Ugandan): Faruku Miya (Standard Liege)
Fans favourite player of the year (Non Ugandan): Muhammed Salah (AS Roma)