Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala have both been nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or awards in the men and women categories respectively.
The list, announced by France Football Magazine, sees both players shortlisted alongside 29 players in the men and women categories respectively.
Osimhen led Napoli to the Serie A title last season — the club’s first in 33 years.
The Super Eagles striker also scored 25 league goals to become the league’s highest goalscorer, setting the record as the first African footballer to achieve the feat.
The 24-year-old also led his country to AFCON 2024 qualification where he is also the leading goalscorer in the series.
Oshoala, five-time African footballer of the year winner, became the first African player to score at three Women’s World Cups.
She was also part of a Barcelona feminine side that clinched a treble of trophies including League title, Spanish Supercopa and Champions League.
She scored 21 league goals in 28 games last season.
The 28-year-old is the only female representative from Africa for the second consecutive year.
Other notable nominees in the men’s category include Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
Manchester City have seven players in the men’s nominees list.
Cristiano Ronaldo, five-time winner of the award, was however not nominated for the first time since 2003.
The winners of the award will be announced at a ceremony on October 30.
Men’s list of nominees:
Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Nigeria)
Andre Onana (Manchester United, Cameroon)
Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad, France)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal, England)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)
Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid, England)
Randal Kolo Muani (Paris St-Germain, France)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City, Portugal)
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli, Georgia)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan, Italy)
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa, Argentina)
Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal)
Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway)
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal, Norway)
Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona, Germany)
Yassine Bounou (Sevilla, Morocco)
Julian Alvarez (Manchester City, Argentina)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid, Brazil)
Rodri (Manchester City, Spain)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, France)
Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Argentina)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona, Poland)
Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich, South Korea)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain, France)
Harry Kane (Bayern Munich, England)
Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City, Croatia)
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Full list of women nominees:
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Barcelona)
Aitana Bonmati (Spain and Barcelona)
Millie Bright (England and Chelsea)
Linda Caicedo (Colombia and Real Madrid)
Olga Carmona (Spain and Real Madrid)
Rachel Daly (England and Aston Villa)
Debinha (Brazil and North Carolina Courage/Kansas City)
Kadidiatou Diani (France and Lyon)
Mary Earps (England and Manchester United)
Patricia Guijarro (Spain and Barcelona)
Yui Hasegawa (Japan and Manchester City)
Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden and Paris St-Germain/Arsenal)
Sam Kerr (Australia and Chelsea)
Mapi Leon (Spain and Barcelona)
Katie McCabe (Republic of Ireland and Arsenal)
Hinata Miyazawa (Japan and MyNavi Sendai/Manchester United)
Lena Oberdorf (Germany and Wolfsburg)
Ewa Pajor (Poland and Wolfsburg)
Salma Paralluelo (Spain and Barcelona)
Alexandra Popp (Germany and Wolsburg)
Hayley Raso (Australia and Man City/Real Madrid)
Alba Redondo (Spain and Levante)
Guro Reiten (Norway and Chelsea)
Wendie Renard (France and Lyon)
Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden and Barcelona)
Jill Roord (Netherlands and Wolfsburg/Manchester City)
Khadija Shaw (Jamaica and Manchester City)
Sophia Smith (United States and Portland Thorns)
Georgia Stanway (England and Bayern Munich)
Daphne van Domselaar (Netherlands and Twente/Aston Villa)
Nigeria loses bid to host AFCON 2027
Nigeria has lost the joint bid with the Benin Republic to host the African Cup of Nations in 2027, as Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are named joint hosts of the 2027 tournament, AFP reports.
This comes after the Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh arrived in Egypt on Tuesday with representatives of the Nigeria Football Federation to bid to host AFCON in 2027.
We report that Nigeria’s only hosting of the AFCON was in 1980 when Christian Chukwu led the team to victory in front of enthusiastic home fans, including former President Shehu Shagari.
The joint hosting with Ghana ended in disappointment as Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions claimed the trophy at the National Stadium in Lagos.
Osimhen’s agent threatens legal action against Napoli
Roberto Calendar, the agent of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, on Tuesday said he “reserves the right to take legal action” against the club.
Calenda’s threat came after a video mocking the player was posted and then deleted from the Serie A side’s official TikTok on Tuesday.
He released a statement on messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, saying the video caused “very serious damage to the player”.
“What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable.
“A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted,” said Calenda.
“We reserve the right to take legal action and any other useful initiative to protect Victor.”
Napoli did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
Osimhen missed a late penalty kick in a goalless draw against Bologna in Serie A on Sunday.
He was substituted as the game drew to a close and appeared to protest the decision, shouting at coach Rudi Garcia before leaving the pitch.
Later on the French manager, however, played down the situation.
Winners to get N150m as 2023/24 NPFL season kicks off September 30
The board of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has announced a new kick-off date for the 2023/24 season.
In a statement on Monday, the board disclosed that the NPFL will commence its new season on September 30.
According to Davidson Owumi, NPFL chief operating officer, the season’s champions would receive ₦150 million, a 50 percent increase from the previous season’s prize money.
He added that the league’s board would also administer a take-off grant of N10 million to each of the 20 teams participating.
“The 20 clubs will, as was done last season, receive a take-off grant of ten Million Naira (₦10,000,000) each to smoothen your operations as the season starts,” the Owumi said.
“We are therefore expecting the Clubs to as a matter of urgency, forward their respective account details to the NPFL Secretariat for the transfer of the said amount as the season is set to commence on Saturday, September 30, 2023.”
The season was scheduled to commence on September 9, with Enyimba billed to face Bendel Insurance in the opening matchday.
But a few days to the date, the kick-off was postponed due to the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
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