Balinya fumes over Uganda award shortlist snub

18Oct 2019
Michael Mwebe
The Guardian
Balinya fumes over Uganda award shortlist snub

YOUNG Africans (Yanga) striker, Juma Balinya, is smarting after being snubbed in the annual Uganda Footballer of the Year award shortlist.

Yanga forward, Juma Balinya.

 

The Uganda Football Federation, FUFA, announced their 16-man shortlist for the 2019 Male Player of the Year on Wednesday, but Balinya was left out despite having a good season with Police FC of Uganda in the previous season.

He was last season’s Uganda Premier League top scorer with 19 goals that saw him attract interests from various regional clubs before eventually signing for Yanga in July this year.

The Ugandan international has come out to vent his frustration. He took to his official Facebook account hours after he had learnt about his omission.

“I wanted to keep quiet about this, but seriously it’s not easy to do so. I played the whole of last season in Uganda up to May when the league ended,” he noted.

“So if I’m not among the best players then which season or year are they considering because the current season they have played not more than eight games. So are they choosing the best player after eight games or two months?” he queried.

Balinya said the absence of his name on the shortlist is down to favouritism and went on to declare the officials have denied him the prestigious crown.

He continued: “They knew if they put me in 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 don’t suffer, JB18.”

The initial 16-man nominees’ list include Shafiq Kagimu (URA FC), Saidi Kyeyune (URA FC), Mike Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Viane Ssekajjugo (Wakiso Giants), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume), Bashir Mutanda (SC Villa), Joel Madondo (Busoga United), Daniel Sserunkuma (Vipers), Allan Okello (KCCA FC), Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City), Deogratious Ojok (BUL), Bright Anukani (Proline), Hillary Mukundane (Mbarara City), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA FC), Allan Kayiwa (Vipers), Ivan Bogere (Proline FC).

The awards ceremony which is organized by FUFA will take center stage at Speke Resort in Munyonyo, Uganda on December 14 this year.

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