Publish date: 2022-07-03 02:33:17 | Author: Peter Akinbo | Source: punchng.com
Former Super Super Eagles stars have questioned the exclusion of Africa’s most expensive signing Victor Osimhen from the list of nominees for Confederation of Africa Football’s Men’s Player of The Year award for 2022, Sunday PUNCH reports.
The nominees for the CAF awards were released on Thursday, June 30 and it came as a shock to many that Osimhen was missing from the list.
Nigerian winger, Moses Simon was the only Nigerian nominated by CAF for the coveted award and some notable ex-internationals have querried CAF’s decision to leave out the 23-year-old from the list.
Former U-23 star and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games silver medallist, Femi Ajilore hoped that Osimhen was nominated for the award citing his achievements in Serie A.
“I would have wished Osimhen was among the nominees but I don’t know the criteria they used in picking those players,”Ajilore told Sunday PUNCH.
“He has done so well and is the best young player in the Italian league. If a player can win the best young player in Serie A, it shows that he has a lot of potential, and when you look at the national level, he is one of our best at the moment, and for that reason, I think he deserves a spot and even if he doesn’t win it, at least, it’s a recognition of what he is doing.”
Sylvanus Okpala, a 1980 African Cup of Nations winner, believes that the decision does not take anything away from Osimhen as award panelists do not always pick the best.
“This is based on the decision of the panel, just like some coaches like a particular player and the way he plays, another coach will not like him. So, it’s based on discretion, which does not mean that those selected are the best, although sometimes, they are the best. When it is overwhelmingly obvious that you are playing very well in all the matches you play, then there is nobody to question your performance. In this case, it is on the discretion of those who are selecting.
“I would like Osimhen to have been there, he has been doing well, performing very well. I don’t know why his name is not there, I don’t know the criteria they used in selecting the players anyway but if you ask me, if I was on the panel, Osimhen’s name would be there. I am not saying he will win it eventually but at least his name will be mentioned.”
Former Eagles defender, Ifeanyi Udeze was also left aback at Osimhen’s exclusion but however stated that the 23-year-old striker was excluded from the list for missing the AFCON 2022 tournament in Cameroon.
“It was a surprise to me that Osimhen’s name was not on that list, there was a 30-man shortlist and his name was not there, I was shocked. I don’t know the criteria they are using for the nominations. I feel Osimhen was not on that list because he did not go for the African Cup of Nations and this affected his judgement, Moses was on that list because he performed for Nigeria in the AFCON, and he also helped his club side to win a cup at least.”
Udeze also advised Osimhen to look towards the next season rather than focus on the CAF award.
“I think Osimhen should just take that off his mind and work towards the new season and you never can tell, I’ll just wish him all the very best.”
Sunday PUNCH had reported that the awards ceremony will hold on July 21, 2022, in Morocco.