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Ugandan Denis Onyango crowned 2016 African Player-of-the-Year

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango was late on Thursday crowned the 2016 African Player of the Year (African based).
Onyango who helped Uganda qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after 39-years of waiting was crowned during the Glo Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards ceremony that took place in Abuja, Nigeria.

Onyango had 252 votes, while his teammate at Sundowns and Zimbabwean striker Khama Billiat picked 228 votes and Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba who helped TP Mazembe win the CAF Confederations Cup finished third with 206 votes.

Onyango was also picked as goalkeeper for Africa’s finest eleven.

Uganda’s national team, Cranes was also voted best team of 2016 for their good show and qualification for 2017 Afcon. Cranes beat the national teams of Zimbabwe and Senegal which had also been nominated.

Moses Magogo, head of Uganda’s football governing body told Xinhua in an interview that the awards show that the quality of football in the country has improved.

"This is good for the country and it is a sign that we are on the right path," Magogo said.


2016 African Player of the Year | Coastweek


ABUJA (Xinhua) -- Uganda’s first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango (c) receives an award during the Glo Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards ceremony in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, Jan. 5, 2017. Onyango who helped Uganda qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after 39-years of waiting was crowned the 2016 African Player of the Year (African based). XINHUA PHOTO: OLATUNJI OBASA

Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez who helped Leicester City win the English Premier League last season won the CAF Africa Player of the Year Award (foreign based).

The women’s Player of the Year Award was won by Asisat Oshola (Nigeria), while Kelechi Iheanacho who has been in good form for Manchester City and Nigeria won the most promising talent award.

Another Nigerian Alex Iwobi was voted Youth Player of the Year and Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane scooped the Coach of the Year award.

Onyango’s team Mamelodi Sundowns was also voted Club of the Year after they won the South African League and the 2016 CAF Champions League.

Nigeria voted the women’s national team of the year and Gambia’s Bakary Papa Gassama picked the Referee of the Year award.


Uganda names final squad for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Head Coach of Uganda’s national football team has named the final squad that will play at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament scheduled to start in a few days in Gabon.

Milutin Sredojevic, Uganda’s head coach of the national team nicknamed The Cranes, went through various buildup games.

He said after the buildup game with Tunisia on Wednesday, he decided to drop goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan, Muzamil Mutyaba and Edrisa Lubega.

"The game against Tunisia was an eye opener on a number of tactical issues and we need to improve as we get closer to the tournament," he said.

He said the 23 players he has picked are ready to represent the country well.

Speaking about the remaining two international matches that will be played in the United Arab Emirates, the coach said facing Slovakia who are ranked among the top 50 teams in the world and African champions Ivory Coast will give them the best final check before heading to Gabon.

Uganda is the only team in the Council for East and Central African Football Associations to qualify for the Afcon. It is grouped alongside Egypt, Mali and Ghana.

Uganda last competed in the Afcon about 39 years ago.

The squad includes Salim Jamal, Robert Odongkara, Denis Onyango, Timothy Dennis Awany, Joseph Ochaya, Shafiq Batambuze, Denis Iguma, Isaac Isinde, Murushid Juuko and Nicholas Wadada.

The others are midfielders Khalid Aucho, Mike Azira, Geoffrey Kizito, William Luwagga Kizito, Tony Mawejje, Hassan Wasswa, Moses Oloya and Godfrey Walusimbi.

The strikers are Geoffrey Massa, Faruku Miya, Yunus Sentamu, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, and Muhammed Shaban.

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