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African Footballer of the Year: Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala win awards

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Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has been crowned the 2023 African Footballer of the Year at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards ceremony in Marrakesh.

 

The Napoli player beat Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi to the prestigious award – the first time a Nigerian has picked up the title since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.

 

Nigeria enjoyed double success with Asisat Oshoala retaining the women’s award – the sixth time the Barcelona star has won the accolade.

 

The winners are voted for by a panel consisting of CAF’s technical committee plus African media professionals, head coaches and captains. Clubs involved in the group stages of CAF’s continental competitions also have a say.

 

Napoli’s Osimhen, 24, was tipped to pick up the prestigious CAF award for the first time in his career after a stellar 2022-23 season.

 

He scored 26 times in 32 appearances, including the decisive goal that sealed the Scudetto in May and won Napoli their first Serie A title in 33 years.

 

The former Wolfsburg and Lille striker was also named the Italian footballers’ association player of the year earlier this month after an outstanding season.

 

Lagos-born Osimhen scored five goals in four Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification matches as his country reached next year’s finals.

 

He also became the first Nigerian to finish in the top 10 of the Ballon d’Or vote with an eighth-placed finish and was made a Member of the Federal Republic in his homeland.

 

Barcelona star Asisat Oshoala, 29, made it a night to remember for Nigeria, winning the women’s player of the year title for a record extending sixth time.

 

Oshoala – who went to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this year – retains the trophy she won last year.

 

She beat off competition from South Africa and Racing Louisville’s Thembi Kgatlana and Zambia and Shanghai Sengli’s Barbra Banda to lift the trophy.

 

Nigeria’s Super Falcons won the women’s national team of the year with their Paris FC star Chiamaka Nnadozie picking up the women’s goalkeeper award.

 

2023 CAF awards winners:

Player of the Year (men): Victor Osimhen (Napoli & Nigeria)

 

Player of the Year (women): Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona & Nigeria)

 

Coach of the Year (men): Walid Regragui (Morocco)

 

Coach of the Year (women): Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

 

National Team of the Year (men): Morocco

 

National Team of the Year (women): Nigeria

 

Goalkeeper of the Year (men): Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal & Morocco)

 

Goalkeeper of the Year (women): Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC & Nigeria)

 

Young Player of the Year (women): Nesryne El Chad (Lille & Morocco)

 

Young Player of the Year (men): Lamine Camara (Metz & Senegal)

 

Club of the Year (women): Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

 

Club of the Year (men): Al Ahly (Egypt)

 

Interclub Player of the Year (women): Fatima Tagnaout (AS FAR & Morocco)

 

Interclub Player of the Year (men): Percy Tau (Al Ahly & South Africa)

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Bayern Munich: Thomas Tuchel to leave at end of season

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Manager Thomas Tuchel will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The 50-year-old replaced Julian Nagelsmann at the German champions in March 2023 on a deal until June 2025.

But the former Chelsea boss will depart a year earlier than planned as part of “a sporting realignment” at Bayern.

 

He led Bayern to last season’s Bundesliga title after taking over in the spring but they now sit eight points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen after back-to-back league defeats.

 

One of those was an emphatic 3-0 loss to Leverkusen – and they were also beaten 1-0 by Lazio in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

 

Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said both parties agreed to “mutually end our collaboration” following “an open, good conversation”.

 

“Our goal is to carry out a sporting realignment with a new coach for the 2024-25 season,” he added.

 

“Until then, every individual in the club is expressly challenged to achieve the maximum possible in the Champions League and the Bundesliga.

 

“I also explicitly hold the team responsible. Especially in the Champions League, we are convinced after the defeat at Lazio we will advance to the quarter-finals with our fans behind us.”

 

Tuchel, who has also managed Paris St-Germain and Borussia Dortmund, said: “We will leave after this season. Until then, my coaching team and I will continue to do everything we can to ensure maximum success.”

 

The German, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, oversaw a quarter-final defeat at the hands of eventual winners Manchester City in Europe last season.

 

However, his Bayern side were able to pip Borussia Dortmund on the final day of the Bundesliga campaign – because their rivals drew 2-2 at home to Mainz – to seal an 11th straight German title.

 

England captain Harry Kane arrived from Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth an initial 100m euros (£86m) in the hope of securing domestic and European success.

The German, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, oversaw a quarter-final defeat at the hands of eventual winners Manchester City in Europe last season.

 

However, his Bayern side were able to pip Borussia Dortmund on the final day of the Bundesliga campaign – because their rivals drew 2-2 at home to Mainz – to seal an 11th straight German title.

 

England captain Harry Kane arrived from Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth an initial 100m euros (£86m) in the hope of securing domestic and European success.

 

But a damaging period has seen Bayern slip further behind Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen side in the Bundesliga and they also must overturn a first-leg deficit against Lazio to stay in Europe.

 

Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Bochum was their third in a row in all competitions.

 

 

 

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House of Reps. hails Super Eagles over AFCON performance

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House of Reps. hails Super Eagles over AFCON performance

House of Reps. hails Super Eagles over AFCON performance

Nigeria’s House of Representatives has congratulated the Super Eagles team for clinching the Silver Prize at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations for a fifth time.

A statement by the House Spokesperson, Akin Rotimi Jr., appreciated the entire players and coaching crew for their spirited efforts as well as the team captain, William Troost Ekong for emerging ‘Man of the Competition’ hosted by Cote d’Ivoire.

The House expressed confidence that the achievement would inspire not just the multitude of sports talents across the country but Nigerians in other spheres of influence to do more for their fatherland.

The statement noted that the team has used their sterling performance to unite Nigerians across religious, ethnic and political lines promising to continue supporting programmes and policies that promote sports and youth development.

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Tinubu Extols Super Eagles’ Grit and Talent Following AFCON Triumph

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Tinubu Extols Super Eagles' Grit and Talent Following AFCON Triumph

Tinubu Extols Super Eagles’ Grit and Talent Following AFCON Triumph

President Bola Tinubu lauds the indomitable spirit and remarkable talent showcased by the Super Eagles during their remarkable journey at the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire. Despite narrowly missing the top spot, Tinubu celebrates the team’s unwavering determination and resilience, recognizing their stellar performance as a testament to the Nigerian spirit.

In a statement issued by presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu extends heartfelt commendations to the entire Super Eagles squad, coaching staff, crew, and management team for their exemplary efforts throughout the tournament. He highlights their relentless pursuit of excellence, emphasizing the significance of their achievement in uniting and inspiring the nation.

Acknowledging the challenges overcome and obstacles faced along the way, Tinubu emphasizes the team’s steadfast resolve and consistent improvement, culminating in a hard-fought journey to the tournament finals. He underscores the importance of resilience and perseverance, urging Nigerians to draw inspiration from the Super Eagles’ triumph in the face of adversity.

Tinubu urges citizens to remain optimistic and united in the wake of the tournament’s conclusion, emphasizing the enduring spirit of resilience, hope, and unity that defines the Nigerian identity. He calls upon the youth to seize the opportunity to pursue their dreams with passion and determination, recognizing their potential to become future heroes and ambassadors for the nation.

In a stirring message of encouragement, President Tinubu reassures the nation of his administration’s unwavering commitment to supporting and empowering Nigerian youth, pledging to provide opportunities for them to realize their full potential. He emphasizes the importance of collective effort and national unity in overcoming challenges and achieving greatness.

As the nation reflects on the Super Eagles’ remarkable journey at AFCON 2023, President Tinubu’s words serve as a rallying cry for unity, resilience, and determination. He reminds Nigerians of the power of sport to unite and inspire, calling upon citizens to harness the spirit of the Super Eagles as they strive towards a brighter future for the nation.

In closing, President Tinubu expresses confidence in the ability of Nigerians to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness, urging citizens to remain steadfast in their pursuit of excellence. He emphasizes the importance of fostering a culture of resilience, optimism, and unity, echoing the sentiments of hope and determination that define the Nigerian spirit.

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