Heartland chairman waives off Caf conspiracy claims over Mikel missing award
Heartland chairman, Fan Ndubuoke has insisted that Ivorian and Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure is the best candidate for the 2013 Glo/Caf African Footballer of the Year award.
Toure edged Nigerian and Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel and Didier Drogba for the coveted award in last Thursday’s awards ceremony in Lagos.
Some angry Nigerians have continued to question the credibility of the voting system that chose Toure ahead of their favoured candidate, Mikel for the best player gong.
However, Ndubuoke asked the disagreeing Nigerians to exercise caution so that they do not unknowingly pull down the edifice they toiled for years to set up because certain decision did not go their own way.
“I bluntly refuse to share in the conspiracy theory being advocated by some disappointed Nigerians over the award of Glo/Caf Footballer of the Year award to Yaya Toure instead of John Obi Mikel.
“I equally disagree with the call for a review of the voting system that produces the winners of the awards.
“If Yaya Toure had been a Nigerian would anybody rightly say John Obi Mikel is the best candidate for the award?
“Glo/Caf African Footballer of the Year is strictly an individual award, I don’t think any unbiased person will vote Mikel ahead of Toure in the year in view.
“Toure is in his own world and rightly won the award. I don’t share the misguided sentiment that Caf is dominated by the French-speaking countries which explained the uneven votes in favour of the Ivorian.
“BBC which is dominated by English-speaking persons prior to the Caf awards voted overwhelmingly for Toure as BBC Africa Player of the Year.
“The fallout of the 2013 Fifa Ballon D’Or agreed with my viewpoint, Portugal and Real Madrid didn’t win anything in 2013 but Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the Player of the Year ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery.
“This is an award dominated by Nigerians in the past with French-speaking countries voting, we have to be careful the way we express our feelings on issues disagreeable with our likes more so as 100% Nigerian company is involved.
“Toure dominated the football scene last year, I don’t know about this year and we must queue behind a credible winner.
“I like Mikel as a person, he performed creditably well for country and club but he competed and was squarely beaten by a superior opponent,” Ndubuoke said to supersport.com.
Ndubuoke said there is a clear lesson to learn from the 2013 Glo/Caf awards.
“There is a lesson we can always pick from the 2013 Glo/Caf awards and that’s we’re coming back to reclaiming our lost glories and I think it won’t be proper for us to try to get it through the back door,” Ndubuoke said.