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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns win Africa Football League

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South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns won the inaugural African Football League on Sunday, beating Wydad Casablanca of Morocco 2-0 in the second leg of the final at Loftus Versfeld.

It gave them a 3-2 aggregate win in the first edition of Africa’s effort at launching a super league, which was reduced from a planned 24-club league to a six-week, eight-team knockout tournament.

Trailing 2-1 from last weekend’s first leg in Casablanca, Sundowns evened the aggregate score in stoppage time at the end of the first half through Peter Shalulile.

They added a second goal seven minutes into the second half when Aubrey Modhiba stole away possession before chipping the ball over the Wydad goalkeeper.

A super league for Africa was originally suggested by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who condemned similar efforts in Europe while saying it could transform the game in Africa.

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He attended the match in Pretoria on Sunday, along with a capacity crowd who had been granted free entry.

-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Gusau hails Nigeria’s big win at 2023 CAF Awards

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President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau was a very happy man on Monday night, as Nigeria swept important honours at this year’s CAF Football Awards held in Marrakech, Morocco.

The NFF supremo was personally present at the Hotel Movenpick and collected the first honour that came Nigeria’s way – Women’s National Team of the Year.

He dedicated the award to all women football teams on the African continent.

Chiamaka Nnadozie, who shone brightly at the FIFA World Cup finals in Down Under this year summer as the Super Falcons reached the Round of 16, 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 gonna see this and be happy. So, keep dreaming, keep working and I believe that one day you’ll get to this stage.”

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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.

Osimhen was crowned, becoming the first Nigeria player in 24 years to take the gong. The last person was Nwankwo Kanu, back in 1999. Kanu also won in 1996, after Rashidi Yekini in 1993 and Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994. Victor Ikpeba took the crown in 1997.

Gusau said: “I am very excited tonight. This has been hugely rewarding for our football and for our 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.”

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) in an earlier year. Only 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.

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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Gusau hails Nigeria’s big win at 2023 CAF Awards

Published

on

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau was a very happy man on Monday night, as Nigeria swept important honours at this year’s CAF Football Awards .

The NFF supremo was personally present at the Hotel Movenpick and collected the first honour that came Nigeria’s way – Women’s National Team of the Year<span.

He dedicated the award to all women football teams on the African continent.

Chiamaka Nnadozie, who shone brightly at the FIFA World Cup finals in Down Under this year summer as the Super Falcons reached the Round of 16, 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 gonna see this and be happy. So, keep dreaming, keep working and I believe that one day you’ll get to this stage.”

After Asisat Oshoala won a record-extending sixth award as Player of the Year (Women)<span;>, 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.

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Osimhen was crowned, becoming the first Nigeria player in 24 years to take the gong. The last person was Nwankwo Kanu, back in 1999. Kanu also won in 1996, after Rashidi Yekini in 1993 and Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994. Victor Ikpeba took the crown in 1997.

Gusau said: “I am very excited tonight. This has been hugely rewarding for our football and for our 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.”

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) in an earlier year. Only 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.

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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

VIDEO: The Eagle has landed! Osimhen hits Marrakech in private Jet

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA. Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, MOROCCO

The star man of the day, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has finally landed in the Atlas Mountain city of Marrakech which is hosting the 2023 CAF Awards.

Dressed in sky blue shirts over an orange vest and blue shorts, the Napoli talismanic striker landed in a chattered private jet.

He is hoped to break the 24-year jinx that has afflicted Nigeria in the lead category of the CAF Awards. Nwankwo Kanu who was honoured on the opening match of the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations in Lagos was the last Nigerian to have won.

That award was for the 1999 edition.

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