It was mixed fortunes for Nigeria at the 2014 Glo/CAF Awards held Thursday night in Lagos, Nigeria as the country emerged tops in a handful of categories while missing out on some; particularly the most prestigious CAF African Footballer of the Year Category in which Ivorian star, Yaya Toure, was, for the fourth year running, voted the continent’s best player.
The night started on a sour note for Nigeria when the Desert Foxes of Algeria were voted the National Team of the Year (Men) ahead of the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Mediterranean Knights of Libya.
Algeria, many believe, won the award on the strength of their phenomena performance at the 2014 Brazil World Cup which continued through the 2015 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers in which they were unbeaten through the series. The North Africans are now tipped as one of the favourites to dethrone the Super Eagles as the new AFCON kings.
Happily, what the men failed to achieve, the women gracefully did as the Super Falcons emerged the National Team of the Year (Women).
The Super Falcons returned to the zenith of African football with their triumph at the 2014 African Women Championships [AWC] held in Namibia and aside winning the tournament, the Nigeria women scooped most of the individual awards on offer to confirm their dominance.
For the club of the year, No Nigerian club was in reckoning for the umpteenth time on the strength of the weak performances in continental club competitions. At the end, Algerian side, ES Setif, who are the current CAF Champions League holders, were voted the Best Club in Africa for 2014.
Also in the Most Promising Talent (Men) category, no Nigerian was deemed fit for nomination let alone wining. It was Yacine Brahimi of Algeria who finished tops ahead of the two Cameroonians in the run for the same prize.
But yet again, there was something to cheer for Nigeria when Asisat Oshoala emerged as the Youth Player of the Year (Women) ahead of compatriot Uchechi Sunday and Fabrice Ondoa from Cameroon.
For the Coach of the Year category, where Coach Stephen Keshi failed to make it to final shortlist, it was Kheireddine Madoui, coach of ES Setif, that got the award.
Nigeria’s final moment of brilliance on the night came when Asisat Oshoala was voted Woman Player of the Year as the announcement of Yaya Toure and not Vincent Enyeama as the CAF African Footballer of the Year was greeted with disappointment from the anxious Nigerians present at the awards ceremony.