SWAN Congratulates Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie, Super Falcons On CAF Awards

SWAN Congratulates Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie, Super Falcons On CAF Awards
December 12 20:46 2023 Print This Article

…Harps On Home Grown Solution To Football Development

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Tuesday congratulated the trio of Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala and Chiamaka Nnadozie for emerging the best male and female footballers in Africa during a prestigious event which held on Monday in Marrakech, Morocco.

SWAN also thumped up Super Falcons for consolidating their dominance with another best team of the year rating.

While Osimhen, Super Eagles and Napoli forward was crowned Player of the year (Men) for the first time in 24 years, Oshoala, Super Falcons and FC Barcelona Femeni Striker won a record sixth award as CAF player of the year (Women).

Dazzling Super Falcons ace Nnadozie who plays professional football with FC Paris in France became first ever best African goalkeeper of the year (Women) in an unforgettable Monday night for Nigeria football.

To cement it all, the country’s Women Senior National team after their heroics at the 2023 World Cup, for the fifth time, emerged best National team in the continent.

Thrilled by the country’s rare exploits, SWAN President, Mr. Isaiah Benjamin, in a statement made available by the Association’s Secretary-General Amb. Ikenna Okonkwo, said, “I really feel very proud being a Nigerian. The collection of major awards by our footballers who were mainly groomed on Nigeria’s soil is a testament of better times.

“Thank God, this is happening in about one month to 2023 AFCON scheduled for Cote d’ivoire. I believe it will also steer the spirit of our Super Eagles to give their best especially as their performance have not really been satisfactory in recent times.

“I must say that all the awardees got the honour on top merit. And the awards shouldn’t make them relax, rather they should put in their best the more for future anticipated glorious moments.”

The SWAN President while also fecilitating with Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau and all football stakeholders on the CAF feat by Nigerians, called for a major concentration on grassroots football development which would lead to more discovery of talented footballers.

“Talents abound in every nook and cranny of this country, the onus lie with the administrators to do more in discovering them. The giant leap by these three footballers who were adjudged best among others in the continent on Monday night and were specifically discovered from cradle in Nigeria to a very large extent shows that the solution to our football development is with us.

“Much as those who were born abroad and grew up there are also needed, more efforts should be channelled towards galvanising a sustainable developmental pyramid from U-10 to elite level for both men and women. Also, more attention should be paid to the various Nigerian leagues,” he said.

For the men category of CAF awards, aside Osimhen, other Nigerians who won the prize previously were Nwankwo Kanu (1996 and 1999), Rashidi Yekini in 1993, Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994 and Victor Ikpeba in 1997.

Upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which kicks off on January 13, 2024 will present another ample opportunity for Nigerian players to prove their mettle.

Later on same year, the Super Falcons will seek to reclaim their continental crown in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) tournament slated for Morocco.

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