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Okocha receives BBC's African Footballer Of The Year Award tomorrow

Posted by Tunde Oyedoyin, London on 2005/04/09 | Views: 460 |

Okocha receives BBC's African Footballer Of The Year Award tomorrow


SUPER Eagles and Bolton Wanderers' captain, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, will tomorrow, be presented with his BBC African Footballer of The Year Award at the Reebok stadium.

SUPER Eagles and Bolton Wanderers' captain, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, will tomorrow, be presented with his BBC African Footballer of The Year Award at the Reebok stadium.

According to the assistant publicist of the BBC world service, Christine George, who made this known to The Guardian, Okocha's trophy will be presented to him about 30 minutes before the Lancashire side take on their visiting West London counterparts, Fulham on their home soil.

Though the painful memories of coming so close to winning the Confederation of African Football, CAF's organised African Footballer of The Year's awards on two consecutive occasions-only to be defeated by no lesser talent, Barcelona and Camerounian striker, Samuel Eto'o Fils-may be lurking at the back of his mind, the Super Eagles talisman may pride himself in the fact that he is the first recipient to win this coveted trophy twice-more importantly, back to back.

Unlike the CAF version, which some believe, was deprived him because, among others, his club does not feature on Europe's greatest stage, the Champions League, and also due to the votes of the Francho-phone countries, Okocha 's emergence as the BBC African Footballer of The Year for the second successive year came from scoring the highest votes cast by listeners to both the English and African language services of the BBC World Service's-Africa sports programme- Fast Track , and those who visited the Corporation's website.
Ironically, the Nigeria captain polled most votes ahead of Samuel Eto'o Fils-the winner of the CAF version-who was runner-up, while Inter Milan and Super Eagles compatriot, Obafemi Martins came third in the contest results announced in January. A shocked Okocha had told the BBC 's Fast Track then: "I never thought I could win it again this year," and that:" I appreciate this one more, because it's been more difficult to retain the award and I've put in a lot of hard work to see that I retain it.I'm very happy that I accomplished it and I appreciate all the people who voted for me."
Instituted since 1992, Okocha may not have had that clout to enable him with the CAF's organised African Footballer Of the Year award, but nothing stops him from saying to the likes of Eto'o and Senegalese El-Hadji Diouf-the duo being two times winners of the CAF awards.

Past winners of the BBC African Footballer of The Year Award include Nigeria's Emmanuel Amuneke, Cameroonian Samuel Mboma, Black Stars of Ghana's Abedi Pele and the Zambian side of 1993.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.