By Duncan Mlanjira
Top Nigerian journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana believes that Malawian Tabitha Chawinga deserved to claim the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Player of the Year award than his compatriot Asisat Oshoala, who plays for Barcelona women’s side.
In a Tweeter message, Obayiuwana said: “I understand that some members of the Nigerian media are unhappy that I didn’t vote for Asisat. That’s a shame. But I am NOT obliged to vote for her.
“Congratulations to her on yet another title. But in my opinion, Tabitha Chawinga is the best woman in women football in Africa, bar NONE.
“The only reason she is not winning the title is because she is Malawian. And they don’t play in the CAF African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON).”
To which another Nigerian journalist for Sport Chronicles replied: “After checking her out, I can say it seems you are right. Her records are amazing, unfortunately she can’t change her nationality.”
Obayiuwana, a qualified lawyer but functioning mostly as a journalist; broadcaster and blogger for nearly 25 years, is an associate editor for NewAfrican Magazine.
He is the Associate Editor of the London-based monthly magazine NewAfrican, the continent’s oldest English-language general interest magazine.
Obayiuwana is also a consulting football producer/programme maker for SuperSport, the pan-African television sports channel, as well as being an adjunct journalism fellow at Pan-African University in Lagos, Nigeria.
Before that, he had an 11-year working career in England with BBC’s World Service Radio, BBC TV Sport and BBC Sport’s Internet division, travelling throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.
He has also reported for Reuters, The Guardian and Observer newspapers of London, Die Welt in Germany, Weekly Soccer Magazine in Japan and The Voice of America Radio network.
He has also been attached with Switzerland’s Facts magazine, Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper and South Africa’s Sowetan Soccer magazine, as well as worked on an IMG/ TWl team (the makers of the television programme, FIFA Futbol Mundial) that covered the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship.
Tabitha, who was also nominated for the prestigious CAF Player of the Year award, was amongst the list that included Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga), Ange N’Guessan (Côte d’Ivoire & Tenerife), Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona), Gabrielle Ouguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moscow), Refiloe Jane (South Africa & AC Milan), Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC) and Ghanaian star Elizabeth Addo, who plies her trade with Chinese club Jiangsu Suning alongside Tabitha.
The men’s category was won by Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane at the 2019 CAF Awards held at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh Resort in Hurghada, Egypt.