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CAF Award: Osimhen Former Coach Cleared Air on Why He Didn't Want Him to Win

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SPORTS NEWS: CAF Award: Osimhen Former Coach Cleared Air on Why He Didn't Want Him to Win [New Sports News] » Naijacrawl
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Ex Barcelona winger, Emmanuel Amuneke, has addressed the controversy surrounding his choice of Mohamed Salah over Victor Osimhen for the 2023 African Player of the Year crown.



According to a report by Soccernet.ng, Amuneke clarified his preference for the Egyptian and Liverpool star in response to a question posed to African legends in a viral video posted on CAF's social media handles.

The aftermath of Amuneke's choice saw a wave of criticism from Nigerians who labeled the 52-year-old as 'unpatriotic' and accused him of harboring envy towards Napoli's Osimhen. Despite Osimhen eventually clinching the coveted title as Africa's best player, the backlash prompted Amuneke to address the issue and dismiss claims that he voted against Osimhen.

Speaking on the Nigerian Sports Village Square moderated by veteran journalist Osasu Obayiuwana, Amuneke expressed his frustration with the misleading comments, insisting that he was not elected to vote in the first place. He shed light on the circumstances leading to his preference for Salah, explaining that during a debate about the Arabian team, the question of choosing between Hakimi and Salah arose, with Osimhen also mentioned.

Amuneke stated, "He came to me and asked ‘Hakimi or Salah.’ I have to say Salah. And the reason why I said Salah was because I played in Egypt, I lived in Egypt, and I know some of the guys there." He emphasized that there was no intention to vote against Osimhen and reminded everyone of Osimhen's achievements, expressing pride in the player's success.

Adding context to their relationship, Amuneke highlighted that Osimhen was part of his Nigeria U17 squad that won the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup, where the striker earned the Golden Boot and Silver Ball honors. He urged for an end to the spread of false news and false impressions, emphasizing the responsibility of journalists to inform the public accurately.

Osimhen, 24, had an outstanding season with Napoli, scoring 31 goals in 39 matches as they secured their first Serie A title since 1990. With this accomplishment, Osimhen joined the esteemed ranks of Nigerians who have claimed the African Player of the Year award, including Rasheed Yekini, Amuneke, Nwankwo Kanu, and Victor Ikpeba.

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Piroll
 

Piroll is a creative writer, social-political commentator, socio-researcher, and sports analyst. He holds certificates in media management and data journalism from the Thomas Foundation Institute of Journalism. He works as a... Read More

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