2nd December, 2014
Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s hopes of being named the BBC African Player of the Year for 2014 was dashed after BBC announced Algeria’s Yacine Brahimi as the winner.
The Porto winger, Brahimi, 24, beat Lille FC shot-stopper Enyeama to the top prize after garnering more votes in the polls open to football fans across the continent for the first time. According to BBC, “a record number of votes were submitted from fans in 207 FIFA-registered countries” in a contest that produced Brahimi as the winner ahead of the LOSC Lille goalkeeper.
Five players, including Ivory Coast’s Gervinho, Gabon’s Pierre Emerre Aubameyang, and CAF Player Of The Year Favourite Yaya Toure were earlier nominated for the award on 10 November before the aforementioned were edged out from the running hours ago, leaving only Nigeria’s Enyeama and Algeria’s Brahimi to battle it out.
Many had thought that Enyeama who has been a phenomenal figure in-between the sticks for the Super Eagles and was key to Nigeria making it to the round of 16 of the last world cup staged in Brazil will nick the top prize.
If he had won, Enyeama would have been the second Nigeria after Jay Jay Okocha to win the BBC award.
Many will now hope to see Enyeama scoop the ultimate which is the CAF African footballer of the year award which he is amongst the final five shortlist for the award.
Meanwhile, Enyeama himself has accepted the final outcome of the 2014 BBC African Footballer of the Year award by congratulating the winner Brahimi.
Enyeama took the defeat in a sporting way. He thanked the voters and sent out a congratulatory message to the Algerian.
“I want to say a big thank you to everyone that made a shout out for me, that voted for me for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2014. God bless you all very well, and congratulations to the Algerian guy, Yacine Brahimi, who won it,” said Enyeama.
Enyeama missed out on becoming the fourth Nigerian to win the BBC African Footballer of the Year.