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CAF Awards: Nigeria Pillar Of Sports, Ejidike Salutes Osimhen, Falcons, Others

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The Nigerian Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike JP has congratulated the Super Falcons of Nigeria, Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala, and Chiamaka Nnadozie, for emerging the Confederation of African Football (CAF) “Female National Team of the Year”, “African Footballer of the Year (male category), Female Footballer of the Year (female category), and Best Goalkeeper of the Year (female category, respectively for the year 2023.

Chief Ejidike gave the congratulatory message on Tuesday in an interaction with the media, following the announcement of the winners of the different categories of award at a colourful ceremony, held in the city of Marrakech in Morocco on Monday night according to a statement by the office of the Pillar of Sports.

The Super Falcons gave a good accounts of themselves, at the World Cup, where they ended the group phase unbeaten, in addition to a famous victory against the co-host, Australia, and a stoic performance against the Three Lionesses of England, in a round of 16, which they lost only on penalty shoot out, against their pre-tournament ratings by soccer pundits. 

Osimhen and Oshoala were very instrumental to their respective European clubs’ successes in the last season. Osimhen led his Italian Serie-A side to the league title for the first time in about three decades in addition to emerging the highest goalscorer in the AFCON 2023 qualifying series with 10 goals.

Asisat helped her club, FC Barcelona, Femeni to the Spanish title, as well as the UEFA Women Champions League victory. She also put up an outstanding performance for the Super Falcons at the Australia-New Zealand 2023 World Cup earlier in the year. Chiamaka Nnadozie on her own path was brought to the global awareness for her penalty-saving prowess, both for country and club, Paris FC in the French female league.

Victor Osimhen also made the first-eleven of the CAF dream team of the year, alongside other African players, as the top striker. Other Nigerians who made it to the honour list were, the duo of Osnachi Ohale, and Michelle Allozie who made the CAF Dream Team, alongside their compatriot, Oshoala.

The Anambra-born Sports philanthropist said, “the heroics of these son and daughters of Nigeria gave every Nigerian reasons to once more, be proud of his or her Nigerian heritage”, affiong that, “it was a moment of pride to watch Nigerians usurping the two most prestigious individual awards in African Football, making it the first time the winners of men and women categories of the Best Footballer in Africa would come from the same country”.

He therefore urged other players who were not fortunate to make it to the podium, not to relent in their efforts, while representing their fatherland, as over two hundred million Nigerians are always behind them, and proud of the, whenever they are out their, defending the colours of their country on or off the field of play.

The Nnewi-born business mogul also congratulates the Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh, leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), led by Mallam Ibrahim Gusau, and other critical stakeholders in the Nigerian footballing milieu for their inestimable contribution towards the landmark achievements in Morocco on Monday.

It would be recalled that the last time a Nigerian won the male category of the award was in 1999 by Kanu Nwankwo, who had also won the 1996 edition. Other winners are the late Rashidi Yekini (1993), Emmanuel Amuneke (1994), and Victor Ikpeba, 1997. Meanwhile, Asisat Oshoala’s victory made it the sixth time the Barca (femeni) striker had won it, which is a record that would take some times for any player to beat in future.