Africa’s Best Footballer to Grace Soya Awards Gala

The `1997 Africa player of the year Victor Ikpeba will grace this year’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Gala set for Mombasa Sports Club on Friday, January 24 as the chief guest.

The former Nigeria national football team Super Eagles star who was crowned Africa’s finest in 1997, is expected in the country on Tuesday, January 21st, then he will travel to Mombasa to hold a series of clinics with the local football sides before attending the gala on Friday, January 24th.

“I’m so excited to be returning to Kenya after many years and it’s a great honour to be invited as the chief guest of a sports awards gala in county that has rich sporting talent like Kenya,” Ikpeba said.

He added: “I have just been in Kenya twice, first when we played Harambee Stars in a World Cup qualifier immediately after we won the 1996 Olympics gold medal in Atlanta Georgia and they frustrated us, holding us to a 1-1 draw. The second time I came in quietly for an Olympic promo in 2012. This time I will have more time to see the beauty of the country and mingle with some of the world beaters.”

Ikpeba who featured at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cup tournaments with Nigeria has had stints with French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and Spanish La Liga side Real Betis.

In 1993, Ikpeba won The Ebony Shoe award, a football award in Belgium given annually to the best African or African origin player in the Belgian Pro League.

This year’s gala has been sponsored by Safaricom with co-sponsorship from County Government of Mombasa, Kenya Pipeline, Communication Authority of Kenya, New KCC, Lapfund, Kenya Power, UBA Bank, Nairobi Bottlers, Kenya Ports Authority, NHIF, NSSF, Kenya Tourism Board and GOtv