I didn’t vote in the CAF awards – Emmanuel Amunike

Emmanuel Amunike

Super Eagles assistant coach Emmanuel Amunike has reacted to the controversy around his selection of Egyptian Mohamed Salah for 2023 CAF Player of the Year.

Ahead of the CAF awards ceremony on Monday night in Morocco, the CAF social media account shared a video where it asked legends of the African game to name their preferred winner for the African Player of the Year Award of the three nominees between Victor Osimhen, Salah, and Achraf Hakimi.

The legends were seemingly in transit to the gala when the content was recorded. Majority of them went for Osimhen, including former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Amunike named Salah when the camera panned on him.

This saw Amunike, who coached Osimhen in the U-17 national side, come under criticism on social media.

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Responding to the criticism, sports broadcaster Godwin Enakhena on Tuesday via X quoted Amunike as saying that the viral video that led to the uproar was a Moroccan journalist asking him to choose between Salah and Hakimi. Amunike said Osimhen was never in the conversation.

“I was never elected to vote in the CAF Awards. A Moroccan journalist came to me and asked ‘Hakimi or Salah’.

“I said Salah because I played in Egypt and I lived in Egypt and I know some of the guys there. Osimhen was never in the conversation,” Amunike said.

After receiving the award for Player of the Year, Osimhen gave a shout-out to Amunike.

“First of all, I want to say thank you to God for everything. Special thanks go to Mr. Emmanuel Amunike; without him, I don’t think I would be standing in front of you guys holding one of the most prestigious awards in world football,” he said.