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BBC Football Award:No Nigerian Player Again

The low level of Nigeria’s football continued to show few days after no Nigerian player made the shortlist of nominees for the 2011 African Football of the Year as they have again been left out of this year’s BBC African Footballer of the Year Award.

The five candidates for the 2011 BBC African Footballer of the Year award were revealed yesterday on the BBC’s Sport Today programme with the Ivorian pair of Yaya Toure and Gervinho as well as Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew of Ghana, Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o and Mali’s Seydou Keita making the shortlist while last year’s winner Asamoah Gyan narrowly missed out..

The Award is given after African listeners of the BBC have voted online. They have till December 9, 2011 to vote for their choice while the winner will be announced a week later on December 16, 2011. Presentation of the Award in the year of the Nations Cup is usually done at the venue of the competition.

The last time a Nigerian won the Award was in 2004 when then Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha beat all including Cameroon’s Samuel Eto to the crown. Okocha, who was then starring for English clubside, Bolton Wanderers, had earlier won the 2003 edition and remains the only player to have won it back to back

While the Super Eagles players have remained without prizes in their various clubs and could not make it to the 2012 Nations Cup, Manchester City striker Toure and Arsenal midfielder Gervinho starred for Ivory Coast as they qualified for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations by winning all their matches.

Toure scored the winner for Manchester City as they won the FA Cup while Gervinho was instrumental in Lille’s double in France before he moved to Arsenal.

Ayew, who is one of Ghana’s key players, helped Marseille to win the French League Cup and Super Cup while Mali’s Seydou Keita was part of Barcelona’s historic Champions League winning team.

Eto’o netted 21 goals for Italian side Inter Milan before leaving for Russian Anzhi Makhachkala in August and has scored seven goals in eight matches so far this season.

The shortlist was determined by a panel of experts across Africa who took into consideration individual skill, technical ability, teamwork, consistency, impact on results and fair play.

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