Abuja – Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Friday in Abuja said he was optimistic a Nigeria player would win the 2017African Best Player of the Year Award. Algeria and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez was crowned the 2016 African Player of the Year at the 25th edition of the Glo-CAF Awards held in Abuja.
Pinnick said that even though no Nigerian player made the final list in the category, he was confident that the country’s’ emerging talents would make Nigeria proud at future awards.
“The high point of the awards for me today is that we have emerging players that can win the African player of the year award next year. “We have Kelechi Iheanacho who won the Most Promising Talent Award today.
“He has been a key figure in Manchester City’s and assuming they win the English Premier League (EPL) title and Nigeria qualifies for the 2018 World Cup, he will be a very strong contender. “We also have Alex Iwobi who won the Youth Player of the Year award.
“He has also been outstanding for Arsenal this season and if so, if his club wins the EPL and Nigeria hopefully qualifies for the World Cup, he too will be in contention for the prestigious award.
“Then, the player that is even most likely to win the title is Victor Moses.
“He has been in a scintillating form for Chelsea this season and they are currently on top of the EPL table.
“So, if they win the league and all things been equal, the country qualify for the World Cup, then he will certainly be the favourite to clinch the title,” he said. The NFF president said the country was blessed with emerging young talents who would be a force to reckon with in the continent within the next two to three years.
“What is even more exciting is the fact that we still have other emerging talents like Victor Osimhen and the rest who are going to ensure we dominate the awards in the future,” he said.