2016 Glo CAF Awards: Mixed reactions trail Nigeria’s performance

By Daily Sports on January 7, 2017

Views: 2,343

Sports pundits on Friday in Abuja expressed mixed feelings on the performance of Nigeria at the 2016 Glo CAF Awards.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Algerian and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez was crowned the 2016 African Player of the Year at the 25th edition of the Glo-CAF Awards held in Abuja.

Meanwhile, members of the Nigerian football family picked up four of the awards at the Glo-CAF Awards 2016 for outstanding football personalities and teams in 2016.

While no Nigerian player made it to the final shortlist of three in the African Player of the Year Award category, Super Falcons forward, Asisat Oshoala, made the day for Nigerians.

A cross section of football stakeholders who spoke to NAN in separate interviews on the sidelines of the awards ceremony expressed mixed feelings at the outcome.

“Overall, it was not a bad outing. Out of the nine awards, at least we won four and there are 54 countries in the African continent,” the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, said.

“We are happy, we are fulfilled, we thank God and want to thank Glo for bringing the awards once again to Nigeria,” he added.

On his own, a former Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeye, said winning the African Player Award was all about personal commitment and hard work on the part of the players.

“Whatever you are doing, you must take it seriously. I don’t think it is a Nigerian thing.

“Those boys are not playing in this country; they are in Europe and their counterparts are also there playing. So, they must give their best.

“Also, they must strive to play for clubs with pedigree,” he said.

Elegbeleye was, however, optimistic that the future was bright for our young and emerging talents.

“The future belongs to the likes of Victor Moses, Oghenekaro Etebo and the rest of them.

“Hopefully, in the next two or three years, Nigeria will win the African Player of the Year award; that’s what I am looking forward to,” he said.

John Fashanu, an ex-international, said it was a good thing that Nigeria was hosting the awards for the second consecutive time in Abuja.

“That’s indeed a wonderful accolade for us. Unfortunately, none of our players made it to the top three of the most prestigious African Player of the Year award.

“Victor Moses who would probably have made it couldn’t because we are not in the Africa Cup of Nations.

“Also, we are not developing our youths as we were before. We must, however, congratulate our ladies because when we talk about Nigerian football, people say we are not doing well, but we are.

“Our women have been fantastic and have, indeed, made us proud; the issue is with our men, we have to develop,” he said.

Daniel Amokachi, another ex-international and former assistant coach of the Super Eagles said Glo must be commended for embracing what CAF stands for.

“All the players that have been nominated in a couple of seasons have all shown and indeed proved to be stars and gladiators in the African continent.

He said Nigeria would, in a matter of time, be among the contenders for the African Player award, adding that there was no Nigerian player who did much last season.

“But in the 2016/17 season, we have Moses, Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho who are on fire this season and hopefully we will see them in the top three next year,” he said.

Akintunde-Johnson Bada, a renowned sports analyst opined that until there was a re-orientation of the values of the average Nigerian player, there would be no significant change in the pattern of the awards.

“Nigerian footballers must break away from the mentality of being content with buying cars, building houses and so on, as the criteria for success in their career.

“As much as these things are good, those can’t be the reason why you play football.

“You’ve got to strive to be the best in the world and to win the best player in England, Spain, Europe and the world.

“That has got to be the ambition of Nigerian players.

“I am hoping that the likes of Iwobi, Iheanacho and the rest of them who are coming through can change the narrative of Nigerian football.

“This prize used to be what Nigerians collected every year in the 90’s, Amuneke, Yekini and Ikpeba won it concurrently.

“But since then, we haven’t seen Nigerians dominating this award because they settle too quickly and make questionable career moves going to China, Ukraine and the likes,” he said.

He emphasised that Nigerian players must aspire to play for the best clubs in the world. (NAN)

 •Photo shows Asisat Oshoala

Source Daily Sports

Posted January 7, 2017


 

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