Football

2021 AIRTEL FUFA AWARDS: A glance at each of the five female MVP nominees

FUFA has confirmed that the awarding ceremony will be held on Saturday 4th December at the Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo.

Sinan RAJUB SENOGA 

The Airtel FUFA Awards have officially returned after a one year break following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The annually organised awards were launched today morning in Kololo with long awaited nominees for both the male and female category revealed.

FUFA has confirmed that the awarding ceremony will be held on Saturday 4th December at the Speke Resort Hotel in Munyonyo.

We take a look at the five female footballers who have been shortlisted for the prestigious accolade.

DAISY NAKAZIRO (Goalkeeper – Lady Doves)

Nakaziro won the golden glove in the CAF Champions League qualifiers in Kenya. Photo/FUFA Media

Nakaziro together with her Lady Doves teammate Fazilah Ikwaput are touted as favourites to win the accolade having inspired the Masindi club to their first ever FUFA Women Super League at Njeru in May this year.

Just like in 2019, the Lady Doves captain was named best goalkeeper of the tournament following her commanding displays and timely saves.

She thereafter won the best goalkeeper accolade during the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers of the CECAFA Region as Lady Doves emerged as Bronze winners in the tournament held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Nakaziro made her Crested Cranes debut in the recently concluded COSAFA Women’s Championship in South Africa during Uganda’s 5-1 win over Eswatini.

FAZILAH IKWAPUT (Striker – Lady Doves)

Fazilah Ikwaput won the golden boot in the FUFA Women Super League. Photo/Media Photo

Fazilah Ikwaput is the only player on the five nominee shortlist who has previously won this accolade. She won it in 2017 while playing for Oli High School WFC.

Ikwaput was so inspirational in Lady Doves’ FUFA Women Super League winning campaign having scored eight of the club’s 10 goals during the tournament.

She was the top scorer with eight goals but also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament. Her most notable exploit was scoring four goals in a single match against Isra Soccer Academy as well as coming off the bench to score the winning goal against UCU Lady Cardinals in the final.

Ikwaput also scored five goals, including a stunning equalizer against CBE of Ethiopia, as Lady Doves won Bronze in the Champions League qualifiers in Nairobi.

She however missed out on the subsequent Crested Cranes duties while nursing a knee injury.

JOAN NAGGAYI (Midfielder – She Maroons)

Joan Naggayi was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) as She Maroons won the FUFA Women Elite League in a tournament held at the FUFA Technical Center in Njeru.

Joan Naggayi passes the ball against Wakiso Hill. Photo/FUFA Media

Naggayi did not only inspire She Maroons to the Elite League title but also a promotion to the FUFA Women Super League for the first time in their history.

The young silky passing midfielder had joined She Maroons at the start of the campaign on loan from Asubo Gafford Ladies shortly after failing to beat Tooro Queens in the promotional play off final of the previous season.

She has since then joined the Prison Warders on a permanent move ahead of the upcoming FUFA Women Super League season.

Naggayi’s outstanding exploits also elevated her to the national team fold although she didn’t make Crested Cranes final squad for the COSAFA tournament in South Africa.

Fauzia Najjemba in action against Kenya at Kitende. Photo/FUFA Media

FAUZIA NAJJEMBA (Forward – Kampala Queens)

Fauzia Najjemba was among the three final nominees during the last edition of the FUFA Awards held in 2019. Others were Hasifa Nassuna and the eventual winner Juliet Nalukenge.

Najjemba scored three goals in the FUFA Women Super League at Njeru as Kampala Queens fell short of the semi finals.

She is currently the captain of the U20 team that is competing in the ongoing FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers and inspired Uganda to a flying start to the campaign with an assist for Nalukenge’s opener in the 7-2 annihilation of Kenya in Nairobi.

She was also on target that day with a customary finish in the 21st minute.

Najjemba scored the second goal as the senior team Crested Cranes beat Ethiopia 2-0 in the first leg of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations Qualifiers at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende yesterday.

MARGARET KUNIHIRA (Forward – Kawempe Muslim)

I can’t hear you. Margaret Kunihira celebrates hear goal. Photo/FUFA Media

Margaret Kunihira has had a meteoric rise through the ranks having sprung to the scene just three years ago. She was plucked from Fort Portal while playing for Kings of Kings SS during the schools’ competition.

The youngster made her Kawempe Muslim debut in 2019 after having a brief stint at Asubo Gafford Ladies in 2018.

She has since then played an integral role in the success of the U17 team but also featured for the U20 and the senior team as well.

Kunihira made her full senior team debut yesterday against Ethiopia but had previously featured for the senior team during the 2019 CECAFA tournament in Tanzania.

She scored two goals (one at Kitende and one in Nairobi) as Uganda rounded Kenya to set a date with South Africa in the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.

At club level, she managed to score once (against Kampala Queens) as Kawempe Muslim fell short of the FUFA Women Super League final early this year.

Previous Female MVP Winners
2015 – Sandra Nabweteme (Kawempe Muslim)
2016 – Hasifa Nassuna (Kawempe Muslim)
2017 – Fazilah Ikwaput (Olila High School)
2018 – Ruth Aturo (UCU Lady Cardinals)
2019 – Juliet Nalukenge (Kawempe Muslim)

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