Kisumu, (KE): In a dazzling display of skill and sportsmanship, Uganda’s midfielder Hakim Mutebi emerged as the shining star of the CECAFA U-18 Boys Championship, claiming Best Player of the Tournament crown.
The championship, which reached its thrilling conclusion in Kisumu, Kenya, witnessed Mutebi’s standout performance as he secured Uganda’s victory with a pivotal goal in the final against Kenya, sealing a 2-1 win into extra time.
Expressing his elation, Mutebi humbly credited his team for their hard work, stating; “I am very happy to win this Award. I thank my team members for working hard and winning the title.”
The awards ceremony, presided over by the President of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA), Mr Wallace Karia, saw Mutebi receiving his accolade with pride.
Kenyan striker Aldrine Kibet, who concluded the championship with three goals, claimed the Top Scorer’s Award.
Representing Nastic Sports Academy in Spain, Kibet expressed the gratification of winning the award as a striker, emphasizing how it serves as motivation to continue striving for excellence.
Ibrahim Baraza Wanzala, the formidable goalkeeper from Kenya, earned the title of Best Goalkeeper. Wanzala’s heroic performance included saving two penalty kicks during the semi-final, contributing significantly to Kenya’s success. Wanzala is also a key player for the Kenya Premier League side, Kakamega Homeboyz FC.
Tanzania, securing a commendable third place and earning bronze medals, added a touch of sportsmanship to the championship by claiming the Fair Play Award.
The winners, Uganda, and the runner-up, Kenya, proudly received their gold and silver medals, marking the culmination of an intense and competitive tournament.
The prestigious awards ceremony was graced by the presence of distinguished guests, including the Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports, and the Arts in Kenya, Ababu Namwamba, who served as the chief guest.
Among the notable attendees were CECAFA President Wallace Karia, Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa and Vice President Doris Petra, South Sudan Football Association President Augustino Maduot Parek, and Executive member of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Rogers Byamukama.
The event highlighted not only individual achievements but also the spirit of camaraderie and excellence that defines the CECAFA U-18 Boys Championship.
CECAFA U18 Awards in Full
Best Player – Hakim Mutebi (Uganda)
Top Scorer – Aldrine Kibet (Kenya)
Best Goalkeeper – Ibrahim Baraza Wanzala (Kenya)
Fair Play Award – Tanzania
Gold medal (Winners)– Uganda
Silver medal (Runners Up)– Kenya
Bronze medal (Third Place) – Tanzania
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