Vincent Enyeama is on the threshold of history tonight. The Nigeria and Lille of France shot stopper is on the verge of becoming Africa’s best player at the Glo-CAF 2014 Awards scheduled to take place this evening at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.
Whether the Super Eagles number one goalkeeper will emulate Nwankwo Kanu (1996, 1999) who last won the continent’s football top honour for Nigeria or play second fiddle to Ivorian Yaya Toure just the way John Mikel Obi did last year remains to be seen in a few hours from this moment. Emmanuel Amuneke (1994) and Victor Ikpeba (1997) are the other Nigerians who have also ruled the continent.
By all standard, the Akwa Ibom born former Enyimba of Aba goalkeeper performed excellently well in 2014 for both club and country to deserve the Glo-CAF African Player of the Year award.
The votes of the 56 national coaches in Africa and their technical directors will decide whether Toure is good enough to emulate Samuel Eto’o Fils as the second player in the history of the award to win it a record fourth times. Eto’o had similarly denied another Nigerian, Austin Jay Jay Okocha at the 2004 edition that took place in Cameroun.
In the female version of the African footballer of the year category, it is certainly going to be another Nigerian affair as the two top runners are golden girl, Asisat Oshoala and Desire Oparanozie. Since 2001 when this category was instituted, Nigeria’s Perpetual Nkwocha (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011) has the record four wins with Mercy Akide-Udoh (2001) and Cynthia Uwak (2006 and 2007) as the other compatriots to have also tasted the sweetness of the honour. Oshoala looks good to be crowned as Africa’s best female star for 2014.
The third nominee is Cameroun’s Annette Ndom.
Oshoala who is a striker with Rivers Angels returned from both the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada and the African Women’s Championship in Namibia as Most Valuable Player. She is also in the running to scoop the Youth Player Award ahead of Sunday Uchechi and Cameroun goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.
She also won a league and cup double with Rivers Angels in the year under review.
This 20-year-old is the new deal complete with great technique, has an eye for goal and her versatility means she can play both in attack and midfield.
Two new categories have also been introduced to spice up the awards. Goal of the Year and Save of the Year are the new categories to be contested.
Categories to be contested for include African Player of the Year (based in Africa) Club of the Year, National Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Referee of the Year, Most Promising Talent, Women’s Player of the Year, Women’s National Team of the Year, Africa Legend, CAF Fair Play Award, Youth Player of the Year Award and Platinum Award.
The Gala night will also reveal the best African X1 for the past year. Some of the ex football stars expected at the event include Ikpeba, Kanu and Okocha.
Toure won the last three awards for the Africa Footballer of the Year at the Glo-Caf awards.
Telecommunications giant, Globacom has been the headline sponsor of the annual event since 2005. Lagos hosted the 2008 and 2013 editions, with Abuja staging the 2005 edition.
PAST WINNERS SINCE 1990
1990: Roger Milla (St Denis, Reunion and Cameroun)
1991: Abedi Pele Ayew (Olympique Marseille and Ghana)
1992: Abedi Pele Ayew (Olympique Marseille and Ghana)
1993: Abedi Pele Ayew (Olympique Lyon and Ghana)
1994: George Weah (Paris St Germain and Liberia) and Emmanuel Amuneke (Sporting Lisbon and Nigeria)
1995: George Weah (AC Milan and Liberia)
1996: Nwankwo Kanu (Inter Milan and Nigeria)
1997: Victor Ikpeba (Monaco and Nigeria)
1998: Mustapha Hadji (Deportivo Coruna and Morocco)
1999: Nwankwo Kanu (Arsenal and Nigeria)
2000: Patrick Mboma (Parma and Cameroun)
2001: El Hadji Diouf (Rennes and Senegal)
2002: El Hadji Diouf (Liverpool and Senegal)
2003: Samuel Eto’o (Real Mallorca and Cameroun)
2004: Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona and Cameroun)
2005: Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona and Cameroun)
2006: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2007: Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla and Mali)
2008: Emmanuel Adebayor Arsenal and Togo)
2009: Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
2010: Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan and Cameroun)
2011: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2012: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
2013: Yaya Toure (Manchester City and Ivory Coast)
N.B: The award was organised by the French soccer magazine ‘France Football’ until 1994, after which the Confederation of African Football instituted a new award. Story by Ghana/Joy Sports
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