NFF boss hails Osimhen, Oshoala, Nnadozie over wins at CAF awards

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, has commended Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala, Chiamaka Nnadozie and the Super Falcons for winning the major Confederation of Africa Football 2023 awards in Morocco.

A statement by the Director of Communications at the NFF on Monday, Ademola Olajire, indicated that Mr Gusau was happy as Nigeria swept important honours at this year’s CAF Awards held in Marrakech, Morocco.

He said that the NFF boss dedicated the award to women football teams on the African continent.

Mr Gusau said Nnadozie shone brightly at the FIFA World Cup finals and was the undoubted winner of the honour of Goalkeeper of the Year (Women).

The Paris FC of France safe hands made a moving speech: “To all the young girls growing up in Africa, dreaming of becoming a footballer one day, believe me dreams do come true. My dad didn’t want me to play football but I’m sure he’s going to see this and be happy. So, keep dreaming, keep working and I believe that one day you’ll get to this stage,” she said.

After Asisat Oshoala won a record-extending sixth award as Player of the Year (Women), the auditorium went silent as it was time to present the men’s version.

Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah were the final three.

Mr Osimhen was crowned, becoming the first Nigerian player in 24 years to take the gong.

The last person was Nwankwo Kanu in 1999. Mr Kanu also won in 1996, after Rashidi Yekini in 1993 and Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994. Victor Ikpeba took the crown in 1997.

The statement quoted Mr Gusau as saying that he was excited, adding that it had been hugely rewarding for Nigeria’s football and for the country as a whole.

“I congratulate Osimhen, Oshoala and Nnadozie, and I congratulate the Super Falcons as a team for bringing us this honour. My charge would be that they all keep doing what they know how to do best, keep improving and keep winning. The sky will be the beginning for them,” he said.

Mr Osimhen became the first player in the history of the African Football Awards to have been crowned Player of the Year (Men) after having pocketed the Young Player of the Year (Men) earlier. 

Last Monday, the 24-year-old was crowned the 2022/2023 Player of the Year in Italy’s Serie A, after having won the Young Player of the Year in the same league in the 2021/2022 season.