By Obi Martins Okafor
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) last weekend unveiled the final five shortlisted players for the 2012 African Player of the Year. Those shortlisted are Ghana’s Andre Ayew, reigning Player of the Year Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, Alexander Song of Cameroon and Senegal’s Demba Ba. The winner will be announced at the CAF-Glo awards gala at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra, Ghana on December 20, 2012.
Not many Nigerian fans would be expecting one of our players to be a top contender for the African Footballer of the Year award since Nigeria did not participate in the last Nations cup tournament, but many would have thought that a Nigerian player will be in the five man shortlist.
The only Nigerian Player who had an outstanding success in the 2011/2012 football season was John Obi Mikel who won the UEFA Champions league trophy with Chelsea FC. There have also been great performances by some Nigerian players at their club sides, like Osaze Odewingie, Victor Moses, Chinedu Obasi; but it appears that they have not qualified to the point of being on the shortlist.
There have been rumblings across Nigeria, about the absence of Nigerians on that list for some years now, but we will look out for the 2013 awards, just as more Nigerian international stars are performing excellently for their club sides.