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Nigerian forward, Victor Osimhen bag 2023 FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award nomination



Nigeria and Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen, has entered the list of elite African footballers to be nominated for the prestigious 2023 Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Award.

Osimhen was unveiled by World football governing body, FIFA, alongside 11 other star players as a nominee on its official website, Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Osimhen’s inclusion in the 12-player shortlist stems us coming a few days after he was named in the 30-man list of nominees for the 2023 Ballon D’or which is the pinnacle of awards for players across the globe.

The Nigerian star striker’s nomination is a well deserved honour following his sterling performances in the Italian Serie A in the 2022/2023 season where he was instrumental to the team’s first Scudetto win since 1990, scoring 26 goals to emerge top scorer in thr league.

With that feat, Osimhen also became the first African player to win the Golden Boot in the Serie A.

On the African continent, the Lagos-born Osimhen was also in free scoring form, chiming in with 10 goals in the recently concluded AFCON qualifiers.

To win the 2023 FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, football fans around the world would have the chance of casting their votes for their favorite players across various categories.

According to the voting process amnounced by the football governing body, fans will have the opportunity to vote via, with a combined input from an international jury comprising national team captains, coaches, and select global journalists.

The voting period for fans commenced on Thursday, September 14 and will concludes at midnight on Friday, October 6, 2023.

The stipulated qualification period for the Best FIFA Football Awards 2023 extends from December 19, 2022, to August 20, 2023, a day after the end of the FIFA World Cup 2022.


Napoli social media executive resigns after Osimhen saga



The recent saga involving Nigerian and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen has swept away the Italian club’s social media executive, Alessio Fortino, who resigned from his position.

Fortino’s resignation comes days after a controversial video shared on the club’s official TikTok platform where the player was mocked for missing a penalty in a Serie A match against Bologna went viral.

A first video posted on the account showed the 24-year-old Osimhen appealing for a penalty, with an audio captioned “Gimme penalty please,” before showing him blazing the spot-kick wide of the post, while a second video compared Osimhen to a “coconut head”, which many widely viewed as having a racial slur.

The denigrating videos caused outrage, with Osimhen’s fans urging him to leave the club, citing disrespect and possible racism. Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, waded into the matter and promised to intervene to protect the player and other Nigerian athletes in any part of the world.

Following the backlash from the saga, Fortino threw in the towel, and confirmed the news via a post on his personal Instagram account on Monday after offering an apology that the TikTok videos were “never intended to offend or make fun of Osimhen.”

“Today, after 805 days, my professional adventure with SSC Naples ends. For many, this job would be comparable to a dream,” the post reads.

“For me, it was a simple daily reality: a reality built on commitment and fueled by the constant desire to learn and play.

“I cannot help but express my deepest gratitude to all the colleagues, collaborators, partners and supporters I’ve met along this long journey for making this experience so special.

“Leaving the company with a baggage of great memories and an excitement for the new adventures that lie ahead,” Fortino said.

Though the Serie A champions have not made an official comment on Fortino’s resignation, Italian sports media believes the circumstances surrounding his stepping down are not far from the Osimhen saga.

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Kenya’s Sebastian Sawe wins inaugural men’s half marathon world title in record time



Kenya’s Sebastian Sawe has won the World Road Running Championships held in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday, in a record time of 59:10.

The Berlin Half Marathon was also a great event for Kenyan athletes as compatriots Daniel Simiu picked the silver with a close 59:14, while Vienna City Marathon champion, Samwel Mailu, secured the bronze, completing the race in 59:19, while another African athlete, Jemal Yimer Mekonnen of Ethiopia finished fourth in 59:22.

It was only the second time in 25 editions that the eastern African nation would sweep the men’s world half marathon, the last occurring in 1997 when Kenya’s Moses Tanui, Paul Yego and Charles Tangus went 1-2-3 on the podium.

Kenya, known for its prowess in long distance races, has claimed the team title for the 17th time, with a cumulative time for their top three of 2:57:43, well ahead of Ethiopia with 2:59:54.

Speaking at the end of the pulsating race that had a total of 97 runners, Sawe said he felt that despite the deficit he had to overcome, gold was always within reach.

“I always have confidence in the last kilometre. I knew the gold was always within reach.”

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