The GLO-CAF Awards which held on Thursday, January 9th 2014, at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos, has obviously lived up to its promise of rewarding football excellence, interspersed with a buffet of eclectic entertainment writes TOFARATI IGE.
With a welcoming ambience that oozed warmth from every crevice, guests were welcomed into the tasteful but modest décor of the venue of the event which was hosted by the pair of Sunday Oliseh and South Africa’s Carol Tshabalala, and broadcast live on AIT.
Awards won at the event include Youth Team of the Year (Nigerian U-17 Team); Club of the Year (Al-Ahly); Fair Play Award (Nigeria’s Supporters Club); Most Promising Talent (Kelechi Iheanacho, Nigeria); Referee of the Year (Haimoudi Djamel) African Player of the Year Based in Africa won by Mohammed Aboutreika, Egypt, National Team of the Year (Golden Eaglets, Nigeria), Coach of the Year (Stephen Keshi, Nigeria); GLO-CAF Legends Award (Bruno Metsu, Jose Mehdi Faria); the GLO-CAF AWARD 2013 finest African 11 Team: Enyeama (Goalkeeper), Fathy, Kevin, Faria, Mikel, Toure, Aboutreika, Pitirova, Emenike, Aubameyamg, Gyan (Coach: Stephen Keshi).
The prestigious CAF Platinum Award went to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and it was received on his behalf by the Nigerian Minster for Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who proclaimed that Jonathan is the most successful president in the history of Nigeria. From comments monitored on Twitter by this writer, majority of the tweets lambasted the minister for his statement. According to one @egba, “Trust politicians to ruin a perfect evening. Why make such a statement.”
By far the most anticipated award of the night, the Africa Player Of the Year was won by Yaya Toure, Ivorian international and Manchester City Football Club of England player, who is winning for the third consecutive time. He beat Nigeria’s John Mikel Obi (1st runner up) and Cote D’ voire’s Didier Drogba to clinch the highly sought after award.
A lot of fans were disappointed that their hero, Mikel, didn’t win the coveted prize, but according to top notch comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, who commented via Twitter, “I’m sure this would make Mikel to work harder to win next year. Age is still on his side.”
Some fans also had issues with the fact that no female was nominated in any of the categories. According to a lady, Agrom who tweets via @agromella, “Africa just showed how they treat their women #gender inequality. Apparently, there are no female footballers in Africa.”
As for the performances, it was indeed a very pleasant and entertaining experience for guests to have a wonderful time. Afro-Calypso exponent, Lagbaja who was dressed in a neon lighted 3D costume wowed guests with his high-tech and futuristic performance, as robot-like, bata drums-wielding giants appeared on the stage together with him.
Flavour’s performance was electric to say the least. He practically set the stage ablaze together with his energetic dancers. He basked in the moment as he moved his waist in synch with the rhythm of one of his fast tempo songs before slow-diving into “Ada Ada,” the soft melodious song that tells a love story of a pretty African damsel.
Other performers include D’banj, Lira, and Sherifa from Ghana.
The event was attended by distinguished personalities like Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Dame Abimbola Fashola, wife of Lagos State governor; Mrs. Gladys Talabi, Globacom’s Executive Director, legal services, amongst many others.
P-Square wrapped up the show with a beautiful performance, as they sang accompanied by a live band, combined with their dance routine