Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu says the failure by Nigerian male players to win a single title at the 2019 CAF Awards ceremony in Egypt on Tuesday night was a big slap to the nation’s football.
Apart from Super Falcons star Asisat Oshoala, who won the African Woman Player of the Year crown for the fourth time, all the male players listed for various awards fell by the way side.
Prior to the awards ceremony, Super Eagles duo of Samuel Chukwueze and Victor Osimhen were tipped as favourite for the Young Player of the Year award.
Also, Nigeria’s Super Falcons was tipped for the award of the Women’s National Team of the Year, just as former Super Falcons’ coach, Thomas Dennerby was in the running for honours after being listed for the Women’s Coach of the Year for his work with the Nigerian team.
However, at the end of the ceremony, only Oshoala emerged winner in the woman player of the year category. She equaled the feat of fellow Nigerian, Perpetua Nkwocha, who won the title four times before she retired from active play in 2015.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Adelabu, a former player of the then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan said: “This show that our players are not improving. Something must be done.”
No Nigerian player was mentioned in African Eleven team announced by CAF on Tuesday.
Adelabu said: “If we cannot dominate the world, we have to take the lead in African football. This is part of the reasons why I am advocating for the presidential council for sports. We must be ready to organize our sports in such a way that it will meet international standard of practice,” he stated.
Meanwhile, some sports analysts have faulted CAF on the failure by the Super Falcons to win the Women’s National Team of the Year, having successfully retained their continental crown in Ghana in December 2018 and reached the knockout stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last year summer.
South Africa’s Banyana Banyana got the award, while their coach Desiree Ellis was voted the woman coach of the Year.