Airtel FUFA Awards 2021:
4th December – Speke Resort Munyonyo
Theme: ‘Celebrating Uganda’s Finest Football Personalities’
The Airtel FUFA Awards 2021 were officially launched at the Stonehaven Malcolm X Hotel in Kololo, Kampala on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
FUFA First Vice President Justus Mugisha was the chief guest in an event also attended by the Executive Committee member Rogers Mulindwa (represented the chairman of the FUFA Awards organizing committee), FUFA CEO Edgar Watson, Uganda Premier League (UPL) Board vice chairman David Sserebe Bunya, Uganda Cranes assistant coach Moses Basena, FUFA Marketing director Esther Musoke and other FUFA secretariat staff.
The Awards main sponsors Airtel Uganda were heavily represented by the Managing Director Manoj Murali, Remmie Kisakye (Brand marketing and communications, Noella Byuma (Brand strategy manager) and Faith Bugonzi (PR).
The other partners also had representatives; Ecobank (Claire Tumwesigye), Ernest Ssentongo (Nivana Uganda), Alok Pokhriyal (BIDCO Regional Sales Manager), Rohit Aggarwal (BIDCO Regional Sales Manager) and Brighton Makara (BIDCO Marketing), John Paul Ssemakula (Nile Special, Connections manager) as well as Bobkins Kibirige from Kibo Media Limited, the event organizers.
Representing the FUFA President Moses Magogo, the FUFA first vice president Mugisha lauded all the sponsors of these awards, hinting on the significance of such awards as he hailed the media for the role executed.
“The Airtel-FUFA Awards have helped the players develop and contributed immensely to the national teams (senior and junior teams). I thank Airtel Uganda who are FUFA’s main sponsors, the title sponsors of the Airtel FUFA Awards. We thank you and other partners’ Justus Mugisha noted.
Rogers Mulindwa, FUFA Executive Committee Member representing the chairman of the awards committee Rogers Byamukama reaffirmed the federation’s commitment to make great use of the resources from the sponsors and all partners
‘Our pledge as FUFA is to assure all sponsors and partners that the resources will put to the right use to develop football. There will be a new category for the Airtel Futsal player of the year and no category for the juniors. The FUFA upcoming Talent has been excluded since the FUFA Juniors League was halted because of COVID-19’ Rogers Mulindwa remarked.
Airtel Uganda, for the 6th year running has banked rolled the awards and the MD Manoj announced a Shs.100,000,000 sponsorship package.
Manoj recommitted Airtel’s pledge to continue supporting Uganda’s football.
‘Airtel Uganda is excited to be part of the Airtel – FUFA Awards that recognize talent. This year, Airtel Uganda will be contributing handsomely to the awards organization with Shs 100M. We have participated in the development and celebration of football in Uganda as we strive for excellence through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). We wish all the nominees the best of luck’ Manoj revealed.
‘Airtel Uganda is pride in having been associated with FUFA as Uganda Cranes returned to the AFCON after 39 years. Airtel is glad to be associated with football development in this country through the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS), Uganda Cranes and the Airtel FUFA Awards’ Kisakye added.
‘The StarTimes Uganda Premier League is glad to be associated with the Airtel-FUFA Awards. The players are always passionate to serve their clubs’ David Sserebe Bunya, Vice Chairman of UPL Board.
‘We associate with these awards because Eco Bank as a pan African bank, supports football. Football has a positive impact in the lives of those that play it and those associated with the game. The awards have urged the players to do their best. Ecobank will support the sponsorship of the Fair-play team.’ EcoBank’s Claire Tumwesigye disclosed.
‘For now five years, we are excited to be associated with the awards and football in general moving forward. We are here to refresh Ugandans’ Ernest Ssentongo, brand manager of Pepsi.
‘NIC Holdings is very, very proud to be part of the journey of the Airtel FUFA Awards. At NIC Holdings, we believe in building personalities and career growth. Besides the insurance cover, we shall be giving an extra Shs. 10,000,000 tto help in the organization’ Joshua
‘Nile Special is proud to be part of Uganda’s sport, football in particular to celebrate the men and women who bring us joy each passing time. We are humbled to be part of the Airtel-FUFA Awards’ – Nile Special (John Paul Ssemakula, Connections Manager).
‘BIDCO congratulates each and every person nominated. We continue to pledge all the support to the awards and football development in general’ Rohit Aggarwal, the BIDCO Regional Sales Manager noted.
“I thank the sponsors of the Uganda Cranes. We did not have sponsors in our days. Working with a motivated player means getting the best out of him or her” – Moses Basena, Uganda Cranes Assistant coach.
‘Awards motivate the winners and non-winners as well in equal measure. I recall during the 1996 CECAFA in Sudan, I was named the best player and given a radio. Of late, the best player gets a car. This is how far we have come and players get motivated.’ Edgar Watson, FUFA CEO stated.
At the same launch, the Airtel male and female player of year nominee list was revealed.
Vipers’ trio of Abdul-Azizi Kayondo, Bobosi Byaruhanga and Yunus Sentamu are joined by Express forward Erick Kenzo Kambale and URA captain Shafik Kagimu for the male nominees.
The female catergory nominees has two Lady Doves players in Daisy Nakaziro and Fazilah Ikwaput.
The other three are; Joan Naggayi (She Maroons), Fauzia Najjemba (Kampala Queens) and Margret Kunihira (Kawempe Muslim Ladies).
The nominees in the other catergories will be revealed in the coming days.
Sports Journalists React:
The sports journalists provide the coverage of the football stars in all the matches they undertake as they also promote the brands of the sponsors and partners.
At the launch, two sports journalists; the Brian entity of Tuka (Capital FM) and Kawalya (Sports Nation) also shared their thoughts about the Airtel-FUFA Awards.
‘The Airtel-FUFA Awards are special in a way that they help the players realize their full potential and strieve to make the podium. Also, it is like a pay-back moment for the sweat and effort.’ Kawalya noted.
‘I grew up looking to role models as Edgar Watson, the current FUFA CEO. It is such awards that lift the working spirit of players to work harder and perform well’ Brian Tuka stated.
The 13 Catergories:
- Airtel – Male Player of the Year Nominees 2021
Nominees: Erick Kambale (Express), Shafik Kagimu (URA), Yunus Ssentamu (Vipers), Abdul Azizi Kayondo (Vipers), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers)
- Airtel – Female Player of the Year Nominees 2021
Nominees: Daisy Nakaziro (Lady Doves), Fazilah Ikwaput (Lady Doves), Joan Naggayi (She Maroons), Fauzia Najjemba (Kampala Queens), Margret Kunihira (Kawempe Muslim Ladies)
- Airtel –FUFA Coach of the Year 2021
- Airtel – FUFA Women Football Coach of the Year 2021
- Airtel – FUFA Beach Soccer Player of the Year 2021
- Airtel – FUFA Best XI 2021 (Men)
- Airtel – FUFA Best XI 2021 (Women)
- Airtel – FUFA Member Association Award 2021
- Airtel – FUFA Fair Play Award 2021
- Airtel FUFA Futsal Player of the Year 2021
- Airtel FUFA Presidential Award 2021
- Airtel FUFA Fans’ Favorite Uganda foreign based player 2021
- Best Squad (Club/National Team) of a particular Year