By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi’s women’s national team captain Tabitha Chawinga — who was nominated twice for the prestigious Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year award in 2018 and 2019 — has been named in the African Women’s Team Of The Decade.
Joining Chawinga is Nigerian Asisat Oshoala, who was nominated alongside her for the 2019 CAF Player of the Year award.
Named by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), Chawinga is upfront together with Oshoala and Senegalese Enganamouit.
There are four Nigerian players in the squad of the elite who performed exceptionally well from 2011 to 2020 — Oshoala, Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale and Ngozi Okobi.
Full squad is Ndom (goalkeeper); Ebi, Johnson, Van Wick, Ohale (defenders; Addo, Okobi, Onguene (midfielders) with Chawinga, Oshoala and Enganamouit as attackers
IFFHS assessed the performances and impact of the individual player on her club and national team and it also put into consideration statistics of their performance as yardstick to be selected.
Other players that Chawinga was nominated alongside with for the 2019 CAF Player of the Year award were her teammate at Jiangsu Suning, Ghanaian star Elizabeth Addo; Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga); Ange N’Guessan (Côte d’Ivoire & Tenerife); Gabrielle Ouguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moscow); Refiloe Jane (South Africa & AC Milan) and Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC).
At the 2019 Malawi Sport Awards Tabitha Chawinga went home with two awards — Sportswoman of the Year and Best Overall Sports Personality.
In the IFFHS male team of the decade has one Nigerian, one Moroccan, one Ghanaian, one Algerian, one Gabonese, two Ivorians, two Egyptians and two Senegalese players.
In goals is Vincent Enyeama, who inspired Nigeria to victory at the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The Super Eagles legend has played for six teams — Enyimba, Heartland, Bnei Yehuda Tell Aviv, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Lille in France.
Full squad is Enyeama (goalkeeper); Eric Bailly, Kalidou Koulibaly, Medhi Benatia, Ahmed Fathi (defenders); Riyad Mahrez, Andre Ayew, Yaya Toure (midfielders) and attackers — Sadio Mane, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah.
Meanwhile, gearing up for the semi-finals of the African Nations Championship CHAN 2020, Morocco’s lead trainer Hussein Ammouta Lhoussaine Ammouta is on the fact that Morocco will play a good game on Wednesday against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
Coach Lhoussaine Ammouta told a pre-match press conference in Limbe that his team will have to play a good game against host Cameroon coupled with a calm mindset.
“We promised a normal good game tomorrow against Cameroon. We assist each other as a team and this will help us for tomorrow’s game. Our mind set is okay ahead of tomorrow’s game,” said Morocco coach Ammouta.
Quizzed on the quality of the game he accepts it will be a challenging one but facing tough opponents gives victory.
“We know that it will be a mental and physical challenge. It is by facing tough opposition that we can win the tournament. We came late today and hope our journey from Douala will not be a worry for us ahead of tomorrow pleading that CAF will put things in order ahead of the game.
“We felt more comfortable in Douala and felt that we did not want to move our team en-mass due to the organization.”
The Atlas Lions of Morocco have had a good run in the competition so far. According to pundits the North African team has been favoured by CAF which he terms baseless arguements.
“I prefer to say that I will ignore baseless argument on being favoured by CAF,” he said. “The two competition are different.
“In Morocco it was a different competition as it is here in Cameroon. With COVID-19 things has not been easy. I will admit that we have new players mixed with little experienced players.
“We are learning to play together. Offensively, I am confident in my team. It was not easy facing opponents as some came with the result to play out draws but we had to work hard to be able to win our opponents. While having fun here, we equally want to play good football,” he said.—Additional reporting by Anye Nde Nsoh, kick442.com & Ademetan Abayon, futbolgalore.com.png