Yanga Africans forward Juma Balinya has come out to vent his frustration on the organizers of this year’s Airtel-FUFA Awards.
Balinya was left disappointed after he was left out from the initial 16-man nominees’ list, even after pulling off quite a remarkable season with Police FC.
The forward topped scoring charts for the 2018/2019 Uganda Premier League season with 19 goals, before moving to Tanzanian giants Yanga FC in May this year.
Balinya took to his official facebook account hours after he learnt about his omission from the initial nominees’ list for the Airtel FUFA Male player of the year award.
“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,” Balinya wrote on his Facebook page.
“So if am 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.”
“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 post continued.
The Airtel-FUFA Awards will be celebrating their fifth anniversary, but the awards have previously come in for criticism following some alarming choices.
In 2016 Shaban Muhamad was voted the Male player of the year ahead of Denis Onyango who had just won the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns and was named among the top 10 goalkeepers in the world.
Why are foreign-based players not in contention for the Award?
The Award organisers have time and again announced a couple of changes to the nomination process for the 2019 edition.
Previously players who have played for a considerable period in the local leagues during the previous year but move to clubs outside the country have been considered for the top gong, but never won it.
According to the Awards’ organizing committee Chairman Rogers Byamukama, only players based locally at the time of voting or nominations were considered for the Male player of the year award.
This decision affects some of last season’s other top performers like former KCCA defender Timothy Denis Awany and striker Patrick Henry Kaddu who many thought staked a huge shout for nomination.
All the foreign-based players are to be considered for the Airtel-FUFA Fans Favourite Foreign based player. But with the current state of affairs at Mengo, Balinya might have posted himself out of contention for this one.
On a completely different point though, Balinya, Awany and Kaddu are in contention as one of the top five nominees for the inaugural edition of the 256 Footballer of the year award.
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