By Patricia Turyahebwa
Former Police fc midfielder Juma Balinya was left disappointed with the 16 nominees shortlist of the fifth edition of the Airtel FUFA awards .
Balinya who was the top scholar of the Star Times Uganda premier league and later joined Tanzania record club winners Young Africans on a two year deal after completing his contract with Police fc, to his surprise, is not among the sixteen nominees of the Airtel FUFA awards.
The midfielder took to his twitter page and said “I wanted to keep quiet about this, but seriously it is not easy to do so. I played the whole of last season in Uganda up to May when the league ended, so if I am not among the best players then which season or year are they considering? In the current season, they have played not more than eight games. So are they choosing the best players in eight games played in two months? They know if they put me on the list their players will not win it, because they clearly know I was the best last season. But I pray that one day our country will change so that other people do not suffer.”
The post left many questions, such as who ‘their players’ are? Which criteria does FUFA use to select the best player? Among others.
According to Rogers Byabakama, the chairman FUFA licencing committee, the legitimate criteria used by Fufa is that the player must be playing in the local league at the time of nomination.
Historically, the Airtel FUFA awards were branded as the most crooked, where experts rank only the 2015 edition as the only transparently won award by Farouk Miya. The rest have been marked by controversy.
In 2016 Shaban Muhamad was awarded the male player of the year ahead of Denis Onyango who had been named among the top 10 goalkeepers in the world. In 2017, it was given to Muzamir Mutyaba, ahead of Geofrey Serunkuma who had scored 21 personal goals in the domestic league and was the top scorer.
The winner will walk way with a brand new car.