It was a Kenyans award not foreigners- Kagere
Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere has blasted the voting system for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) awards, suggesting organisers have a bias against foreign players.
The Ugandan-born Rwandese missed out on the prestigious Most Valuable Player of the Year award as rookie Zoo Kericho FC midfielder Michael Madoya, viewed as the overwhelming underdog in a five-man shortlist, scooped awards in four categories in the night.
A majority of local fans and pundits felt Kagere was the deserving candidate for being the star- man on whom Gor often depended on for firepower in their run-in to a record-setting 17th KPL title.
Just last month, Kagere was crowned as the best footballer for the 2017season by football writers under SJAK auspices but the league body for the umpteenth time overlooked his impact.
“It was a Kenyans award not foreigners award,” Kagere who scored 14 goals replied to a Facebook post criticising the MVP result.
Kagere was voted the Sports Journalist Association of Kenya (SJAK) MVP last December and it was widely expected he would yet again claim the top prize only for an apparent contrast in points-awarding system to swing it Madoya’s way.
The award honours players who lit up the league with brilliant individual performances but team achievements have often played part in making a case for MVP, breaking ties or influencing voting patterns.
Zoo finished a distant 11 places behind the champions Gor yet Kagere dwarfed Madoya on goals contribution having finished his season on 14 strikes and four assists (14) against his fellow MVP contestant’s seven goals and three assists (10).
MVP Madoya ended the night with three other accolades, winning the Midfielder of the Year, New Player of the Year and Fairplay Player of the Year with Kagere getting the Silver Boot consolation and a first runners-up position in the Fairplay Player of the Year category.
In yet another shocking decision, the Golden Glove Award went to Posta Rangers custodian Patrick Matasi who edged Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper John Oyemba despite keeping one less clean sheet (15 to 16).
Former Sharks striker, Masoud Juma, now a Cape Town City FC player, clinched the Golden Boot having emerged top scorer in the 2017 season with 17 goals.
Mathare United defender George Owino was voted the Defender of the Year with Sharks boss William Muluya winning the Coach of the Year Award after guiding the KPL newcomers to an impressive third-place finish.
Sofapaka won Fairplay Club of the Year with Badir Yasin claiming the Centre Referee of the Year.Jolawi Obondo took home the Team Manager award.
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