Nigerian football star Ahmed Musa has criticised the five-man shortlist for the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year awards, telling www.aclsports.com that the selection was “political”.
Musa, who led Nigeria to their first Africa Cup of Nations qualification in five years was named the Nigerian Footballer of the Year at the Nigerian Sports Awards last week after his two-goal heroics at the World Cup in Russia.
The Al Nassr forward expressed his unhappiness at the exclusion of Nigerian football stars from the nominees.
“I saw the list and I felt unhappy because when you see the list, players that are in there did not even do what we (Nigerian players) have done at the World Cup alone,” Musa told www.aclsports.com
Former Super Eagles captain Jay-Jay Okocha was the last Nigerian to win the BBC African Footballer of the Year award – in 2004 – and although Musa believes the emerging talents in the Eagles will soon get to that level, he believes it is not worth thinking much about.
“It (the selection) is politics and we don’t have to think about that but as you can see, there are a lot of players coming out for us now and I hope that by the grace of God they will do well and get their names in there,” said the former Leicester City forward.
Current holder of the gong, Egypt’s Mohammed Salah was, as expected, named among the five, as also his club mate at Liverpool Sadio Mane of Senegal, Mane’s compatriot Kalidou Coulibaly who plays for Napoli in Italy, another Italian based defender Mehdi Benatia of Morocco and Atletico Madrid’s Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey complete the nomination list.
The vote opened on Saturday, November 17 and closes on Sunday, December 2 with the final results expected to be announced on December 14, 2018