The Glo/CAF Awards is gone and y'all know that Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder, Yaya Toure was crowned the Africa Footballer of the year for the third time beating home boy and Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi who a lot of Nigerians felt should have won the award for the first time since 1999 when Nwankwo Kanu, became the last Nigerian to win it.
As expected, there were reaction from everywhere. Sport fans, had their say on the social media, called and texted in to sport shows to air their views and argued at newspaper stands on the outcome of the award.
The Sport media in Nigeria were not left out as some were for or against Yaya Toure re-emergence as African footballer of the year.
Their reactions are excerpted below from an article on the CAF Award written by Chijioke Ezeali and culled from www.fcnaija.com
''It’s no longer news that Ivory Coast International Yaya Toure emerged the African footballer of the year for 2013, retaining his crown for the third year running. What is however significant for the award, is that the ceremony was hosted in Lagos and the Manchester City midfielder, was in direct competition against home favourite Mikel Obi who had an outstanding year winning the African Nations Cup and Uefa Europa League with Nigeria and Chelsea respectively.
We asked for reactions from prominent media personalities about the CAF Player of the Year Awards and this is what they said:
“I will simply say the CAF award went as expected. It is only sentiments and patriotism that makes us want John Mikel Obi to win.
“Taking an indepth look at Yaya Toure and Mikel Obi’s performances in 2013, the only exception is Mikel’s trophy haul (AFCON title and the Europa cup) which is down to team effort, but really as regards individual play, Yaya Toure will always be ranked higher because he does all what Mikel can do and also scores goals.
“However, my honest opinion is for the voting system to change as we can see from the breakdown that sentiments have set in!” Sportspreneur and Radio/TV host, Sayo Owolabi said
“This is similar to what happened in 2008 when Togolese striker, Emmanuel Adebayor was picked ahead of Mohammed Aboutreika who won the 2008 AFCON with Egypt but didn’t win the award. So it is a question of what criteria was used in determining the eventual winner?
“Yaya was an enigma in Manchester City squad but didn’t win any laurels last year. Mikel won the 2013 AFCON with Nigeria and also the 2013 Uefa Europa league with Chelsea which is enough to hand him the award but 54 National team coaches can’t be faulted because they voted to pick Yaya ahead of Mikel,”Dumnodi Okonta, Channels sports presenter said.
“In my sincere opinion Yaya Toure deserved the award, his trophyless season not withstanding he was able to hold his own and when you talk about consistency, Yaya won the BBC Africa Player of the Year and it says it all and that fact has been corroborated at the Glo CAF Awards,” Jide Olaniran ,TV host and Sports personality said.
Some sports personalities also took to Twitter to air their views about the awards.
“Yaya Toure tore the script for what would have been an unprecedented night of Nigerian dominance of the 2013 Glo CAF Awards. Congrats Yaya,” TV host, Toyin Ibitoye wrote on his Twitter page.
“Yaya breaks Nigerians heart! Outstanding year no doubt, but without a single trophy!! Congratulations all the same!!!” Ken Ochonogor, TV host
“I so wanted Mikel….. Sorry bruv, better luck next time,” Mozez Praiz, TV and Radio Host
“This is completely unacceptable honestly, the francophone countries continue to manipulate and disrespect the Award, SHAME,” Veteran Sports journalist, Kayode Tijani said.
“Ok, now I feel robbed….Did I not say it? Toure ko, Torres ni. I dey go house jo, I’m not in any concert mood this night,” Sports Radio Host, Femi Obong-Daniel thundered
“Without sentiments, Yaya Toure, is Africa’s best by a mile,” Jonathan Akpoborie, ex-Eagles player and TV personality added.
“Yaya won, congrats and respect to him,” Deji Tinubu, Radio sports personality.
“Absolutely well deserving, Yaya Toure has been an amazing performer in 2013. Salute,”Sports analyst and football consultant, Eseoghene M.Edafe said.
“Hattrick for Yaya Toure, heartbreak for Nigeria, anger on twitter, Life goes on,” Oluwashina Okeleji, Sports journalist said.It is obvious some sections of the Nigeria media are unhappy with CAF’s choice but almost all of them agreed that Yaya Toure is an exceptional player with an amazing football brain'' courtesy fcnaija.com''
Added to all what was said, someone i call an encyclopedia on social issues including sport and an ardent Chelsea fc fan and one who i respect a lot because she is a down to earth woman, Blessing Victor Meteke, had her won say as well.
''FIFA! CAF!! GBOGBOTIGBO, please stop putting the destiny of Footballers into the hands of World-Coaches and Captains, some of whom would always choose their country-men or who they love out of sentiments, PLEASE, STOP THIS. State out the criteria for each award and let the head of FIFA and CAF at a particular time choose the winner, that way, when something goes wrong, we would know who to blame and not one hiding under the umbrella of World Coaches and award who they want. This controversy would continue as long as it is done this way. Even when a captain feel his club or country player doesnt deserve an award, he is forced to give him inorder not to be tagged an enemy. Several players have been phenomenal in their clubs but couldnt win the CAF best player simply because they didnt play in the AFCON ,and sometimes, they go ahead to deprive one that won the AFCON. CAF has just belittled the AFCON title, and it may be due to no fault of theirs but because they put the destiny of a player in the wrong hands(ask Merlin).
Having said this, i think Yaya Toure stands tall as a representative of Africa. Kudos and a big congratulation to him. As for the award ceremony,it was well organized compared to others we have seen , the organisers improved greatly and we can only hope for the best.''
Having exhausted the talk about whether Mikel should have won the award or if Yaya deserves to win the award or not, did anyone notice that there was no award given to the best female footballer? Using the words of Sports analyst, sport presenter in Pidgin English and football consultant, Eseoghene M.Edafe's words,how was the female footballer of the year award and others jettisoned?
It's appalling, disheartening and a big disgrace or shame if you like to describe it, for CAF not to recognize female football and the footballers in an award that is suppose to be Africa biggest football award
Also, areas to look at is how did they get Drogba nominated and did not even make Africa best eleven? how is it that we didn't get to see Best Goal keeper of the year award again? How is it that we no longer have the best goal of the year any more?
Questions begging for answers if you ask me.
(Contribution from Chijioke Ezeali from www.fcnaija.com and facebook reactions. article by Cosmos Chukwuemeka)