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Sad that Africa’s best footballer, Denis Onyango is nothing in his native Uganda

By Annet Kasiima | Monday, Jan 9th 2017 at 10:50
Onyango was before all these also voted the world's tenth best goalkeeper Photo: Courtesy

Uganda's football governing body FUFA is mourning. It will take them long to recover from the bitter shock from the blow that has been delivered onto them by the Confederation of African Football CAF.

News hit Kampala Friday morning that what those men who run FUFA had dreaded most had come to pass - Uganda's goal keeper Denis Onyango had been voted the continent's best footballer for 2016. What a blow to Uganda's soccer managers?

In case you don't know our national character, we tend to hate anyone of us who tries to shine more than us. Now this Onyango fellow has been going around keeping the goal for Mamelodi something, a South African club that won the Africa soccer club championships cup, curtesy of Onyango's superb goal keeping.

The same Onyango's goal keeping skills had earlier helped Uganda Cranes qualify for the AFCON in Gabon, for the first time in 38 years.

Well, the time came for FUFA to determine who was Uganda's best footballer in 2016, after Onyango had done these for Uganda and for South Africa. And so they decided. They picked on a less celebrated albeit good young man from a club in North-western Uganda and bestowed upon him the title 'Uganda's Player of the Year 2016'. The nation gasped!

There are many people who have played well, after all, Cranes wouldn't have qualified for AFCON 2017, but the general consensus is that Onyango was Uganda soccer icon for the year. But FUFA had other ideas.

It is suspected that they based their decisions of soccer politics - they have their own elections coming up in a matter of months. Now the votes are cast by regional representatives, and the incumbent FUFA officials were looking at the northern vote. So give the footballer of the year title to a northern boy, a region regarded as marginalised in many aspects of social, political and economic development.

But now CAF has slapped FUFA in the face; Onyango is Africa's footballer of the year, even though he is not good enough to be considered the best in Uganda. There is also the other little matter of Uganda Cranes being voted the best national team on the continent.

But that is not exactly interesting - we are interested in personalities, not teams. Onyango is the deal. Bad day, bad month, bad year for FUFA.

Oh, and before I forget, but needless to mention, Onyango was before all these also voted the world's tenth best goalkeeper. Just imagine how many teams are in the English and European leagues, but Onyango is better than majority of them, only 9 goalkeepers in the world beat him.

Even we ladies know that, even if soccer is not our thing. But not the politicians who run FUFA. Remember them in your prayers!

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