Female footballer and Nigerian international Asisat Lamina Oshoala MON has queried the exclusion of female nominee as voting for the BBC’s African Player of the Year prize opens.
The BBC African Footballer of the Year (previously known as the BBC African Sports Star of the Year and the BBC African Sports Personality of the Year) is an annual award given to the best African footballer of the year as voted by the BBC radio listeners.
The advocate for women in football believe there are sensational female footballers who emerged from the continent and are making significant impact in the round leather game both at their club side and at international level.
BBC on Saturday in London during a special live launch broadcast announced the five-man shortlist for BBC African Footballer of the Year which has since been greeted with mixed reactions in Nigeria and other African countries.
Reacting on the nomination, the Nigeria’s Super Falcons striker and Dalian Quanjian F.C. forward, who was recently crowned Chinese Women’s Super League ‘Best Striker of the season’ for 2017 took to her tweeter to query the nomination of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Victor Moses and Mohamed Salah.
She said, “How long are we going to continue complaining about ONE SIDED AWARDS?” She emphases part of her complain in cap-slog adding “ONLY MALE PLAYER AGAIN.” And the obviously disappointed former BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award holder ended her reaction by saying “WHAT A SHAME.”
You would recall that in 2015 the 22 year old Nigerian won the maiden BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award voted for by football fans around the world as She beat Spain’s Veronica Boquete, German Nadine Kessler, Scot Kim Little and Brazilian Marta to the honour.
“I would like to say thank you to the BBC, to my fans around the world and to everyone who voted,” she said after emerging the first of its kind female award hosted by a global broadcaster.
The former Liverpool player may have expected that female category for the African Player of the Year should be created which would have gone a long way to boost hardworking female players in the continent or reserve a spot in the five-man shortlist for female players.
The only Nigerian in five-man shortlist for the BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017 is Chelsea right-back, Victor Moses. He is also on a 30-man shortlist for the CAF African Footballer of the Year Award.
The winger won the English Premier League with Chelsea last season, also leading Nigeria to the World Cup in Russia. He could become the first Nigerian player to win the award since Jay-Jay Okocha emerged winner in 2004.
BBC will announce the winner of this year’s award on Monday, 11 December.