The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) has settled on Joshua Clottey, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Welterweight Champion, former Kumasi Asante Kotoko striker Eric Bekoe and Black Stars midfielder Sulley Muntari as the contenders for the prestigious Sports Personality of the Year Award for 2008.
The nomination of the trio follows their impressive performance in their respective fields during the year under review.
Clottey annexed the IBF title after a long wait by defeating American Zab Judah whilst Bekoe was the leading marksman for Kotoko in the 2007/8 soccer season where he emerged the top scorer as well as powering Kotoko to the league title but is currently with Egyptian Premier Division outfit, Petrojet.
Muntari on the other hand played a key role in the programme of the Black Stars including their bronze feat at the Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the qualifying rounds for the 2010 World cup/Africa Cup of Nations.
A statement issued by William Ezah, Deputy General Secretary of SWAG said the winner would be made public at the Awards Gala scheduled for the later part of the year.
A text poll to determine the winner will have a 40 percent stake for fans with the members of the Association deciding with the remaining 60 percent.
MuntariÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Black Stars team-mate John Paintsil of English Premiership side Fulham and Bekoe will battle it out for the Footballer of the Year Award with the fans and members of the Association again having 40 and 60 percent of the votes respectively.
The statement also named Black Satellites duo, Dominic Adiyiah – formerly of Kpando Heart of Lions and Samuel Inkoom of Kotoko squaring against Bekoe for the Premiership Player of the Year award.
Other nominees are Most Promising Player of the Year – Aaron Amoah of the Black Starlets and Tudu Mighty Jets, Discovery of the Year – Florence Dadson of the Black Maidens (National Female Under-17 Team), Special Meritorious Award – Emmanuel Quarshie of Berekum Arsenals, Amateur Boxer of the Year – Bastir Samir, Dedication and Valour – Felix Dowuona – Ghana National Fire Service Handball team.
The rest are Referee of the Year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Mercy Tagoe, Professional Boxer of the Year – Joshua Clottey, Team of the Year -Black Maidens, Top Scorer – Eric Bekoe (Kotoko), Chairman of the Year – Ebo Bartels, Chairman of the Ghana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Handball Player of the Year – Innocent Denatsui (Male), Patience Borkor (Female), Table Tennis Player of the Year – Samuel Akayade (Male), Akosua Ketu (Female) and Hockey Player of the Year – Elikem Akaba (Male) and Georgina Sam (Female).
Gideon Quartey, Chairman of the Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Association (GAABA), Kwame Amponfi Jnr. General Secretary of (GTTA), Benson Tongo Baba – President of Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Prince D. Vanderpuije Orgle, Chairman of the Ghana Cricket Association (GCA) and Gifty Annan Myers, Chairman of the Ghana Rugby Association (GRA) will also receive Special Awards for their contribution to the development of their respective disciplines.