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Published On: Fri, Jan 10th, 2014

Fans Blame Mikel Defeat on Dominance of CAF by Francophone Countries

Mikel Obi

Football fans in Ebonyi have called on Anglophone countries to re-strategise in order to remain relevant in the politics of the Confederation of African Football.
The fans spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abakaliki against the backdrop of Thursday’s Glo-CAF awards won by Man City FC of England midfielder, Yaya Toure of Cote d’Ivoire.
Toure beat Nigeria and Chelsea FC of England midfielder, Mikel Obi to the title.

NAN reports that in spite of Mikel’s loss, the country won six of the 11 awards at stake, while three of its players were in the African Best Eleven team.
Some of the awards won by the country are Best National Team of the Year, Best National Youth Team and CAF Fair Play Award.
Super Eagles’ number one goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, Mikel Obi and Emmanuel Emenike were in the best eleven team.
Ifenna Chukwujekwu, a former Flying Eagles invitee, blamed Mikel’s loss on the dominance of Francophone countries in CAF politics.
“The dominance is spearheaded by CAF President Issa Hayatou as Mikel could have won if Nigeria were a French speaking country.
“Anglophone countries on the continent should re-strategise and form a united block where they would oppose all disproportionate influences and decisions of their francophone counterparts,” he said.
Dillon Mgbo, Games Master of Fountain College, Abakaliki, advised CAF to throw the voting process open to fans and other stakeholders instead of only coaches and technical directors.
“It is sad that Mikel Obi who won the Nations Cup with Nigeria, played in the FIFA Confederation Cup and won the Europa Cup with Chelsea could not get it.
“It is unfortunate he could lose to Toure whose only feat was an impressive run in the English Premier League,” he said.
Mitchell Ahinful, a Ghanaian, recounted past events where Anglophone players who were outstanding still lost the coveted award to their Francophone counterparts.
“Ghana’s Samuel Kuffour lost to Senegalese El-Hadji Diouf in 2001 when he played better.
“Nigeria’s Austin Okocha lost to Cameroon’s Samuel Eto in 2004 and Mikel Obi has again lost to Yaya Toure in controversial circumstances.
“If CAF is not ready to correct this anomaly, Anglophone countries should either pull out from the awards to form their own or totally embrace the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) awards,” he said.
Chief Oliver Nwagabara, a businessman, blamed Globacom Telecommunications Nigeria and other organisers of the events in Lagos for Mikel’s loss as they did not use their influence to sway victory to his favour.
“Globacom is a giant in the continent’s football promotion, the fact that the event is being hosted in Nigeria with our logistics and other paraphernalia should have guaranteed Mikel the award,” he said.
Miss Linda Oha, a beautician, however, urged Nigerians to look toward the positive sides of the event instead brooding over Mikel’s loss.
“Winning six of the 11 awards at stake shows the country is witnessing a renaissance in continental and global soccer.
“Nigerian players should be encouraged with this fact for improved performances,” she said.

Source: NAN

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