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Mercy Akide Speaks On Joy Of Being First Woman To Win CAF Award




Legendary former Super Falcons player, Mercy Akide, has expressed how proud she feels to be the first woman to win the CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year.

Mercy Akide won the first edition of the women’s category of the award in 1999, the same year Nigerian football legend, Nwankwo Kanu, won his second CAF men’s player of the year award. She went on to enjoy the reign untill 2002.

Unfortunately, no Nigerian men’s footballer won the award again in the last 24 years before Victor Osimhen broke the jinx on Monday, December 11.

Interestingly, Osimhen won the award alongside Super Falcons icon, Asisat Oshoala, who grabbed her record 6th CAF Women’s Player of the Year award. This made a perfect replica of the 1999 edition of the award.

In an interview in Marrakech, Morocco, the venue of the 2023 edition of the award, Mercy Akide, 48, who won three Women’s Africa Cup of Nations before she retired, expressed her happiness with Nigeria’s recent victories as well as her hope for more success.

“I feel blessed to have been the first woman to win this award back in 1999. Winning it at the same time with a legend and fellow Nigerian like (Nwankwo) Kanu was very special and I think it was the beginning of recognition for women’s football in Africa.

“I am excited that other Nigerians have done it again and I hope that we will see more of this in the future. If anybody had told me that it would take so many years before another Nigerian man would win it again, I don’t think any of us would have believed it, but that’s football and God knows best”, Mercy Akide said.