By Ivica Stankovic
Dear Mr. Moses Magogo, I hope this letter finds youin good health and spirit.
In the last few years, you have given all of yourself to one goal and I hope you find additional energy that will enable you continue to steer the ship of Ugandan football in the right direction.
You and your federation’s achievements are amazing and I hope you would make that final step and qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
You are on the right path and I have no reason not to believe that you will make it.
During the last few days Mr. president, unlike in the past, your actions (I mean your actions as FUFA president) have left me confused, speechless and angry.
It’s about the Ugandan Football Player of the Year Award.
How could you decide that actual player of the year is not the “Player of the Year”? Yes, Mr. President, you allowed it to happen. It’s your responsibility to protect FUFA as an institution, to protect the game and by the end of the day to be right. If so, then can you tell me why Denis Onyango is not the Ugandan Player of the year?
Is the whole of Africa blind in recognizing his achievements for Uganda and his South Africa football club Mamelodi Sundowns?
Onyango is a South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) champion, a PSL cup winner, a CAF Champion League winner, PSL goalkeeper of the year, a good father and a person that leads by example.
With due respect to the rest of his teammates and the technical team Mr. president, you broke a 38-year jinx and are now going for the Nations Cup and yet it was Onyango who was the main actor in that movie.
During the Nations Cup qualifiers, Onyango saved a penalty away to Comoros that gave Uganda a vital three points.
In Botswana, Onyango had made point blank saves that guaranteed another three away points.
Onyango and his teammates only let in two goals in the entire campaign.
When it comes to the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Onyango saved a penalty away against Togo and that is one of the reason you are in the group stages.
Mr. president, both of us know how much Onyango likes and feels honoured to be able to represent his country.
We both know that in the past, Onyango has played under pain killers, traveled to Uganda injured, aware that he wouldn’t be able to play, but still wanted to be there — with you and the boys — to an unreserved support.
What else on the earth can one do to win Uganda’s awards? I am not saying you should give it to Onyango or you should feel sympathetic to him.
All I am saying is it was automatic — the man worked hard for the award (Uganda Football Player of the Year Award) and his achievements speak for themselves.
This is not politics where the person with most votes wins the seat.
Sports accolades are awarded on merit and what you have achieved, not this nonsense of a group of football fans voting for Shaban (Muhammed).
That process alone made the whole awards a total joke.
Mr. president, you have professional coaches, players, administrators as well as fans that understand football.
What do they think about an award that was presented based on sentiments not achievements?
Mr. president, I spoke to Onyango yesterday, he is in Japan participating in the FIFA Club World Cup. After becoming the first Ugandan player to win the CAF Champions League, first Ugandan to be shortlisted among the best five African-based best players, Onyango is writing yet another piece of history for Uganda being first Ugandan to participate in the competition.
And I know Mr. president that he took the Ugandan flag to Japan and I know that he would wave it high — for himself, for you and all Ugandans. Onyango is living his dream and his dream is real and no one has a right to spoil it.
Therefore, Mr. president, do what is right and correct the mistake, take ownership and leadership — don’t allow injustice to prevail.
At the end, I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate Shaban the award winner. Enjoy your success, stay focused and great things are to come.
With love and support for the Cranes, Yours in sport,
(Denis Onyango’s agent)