NAIROBI, January 14 – Victor Wanyama might have put his failed transfer attempt from Southampton to Tottenham behind him but former Cameroon striker Patrick M’Boma believes it could have been great if the Harambee Stars captain joined Spurs.
M’Boma who is in the country as the chief guest of Friday’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA), described Wanyama as a good example that Africa can produce, predicting he will be the best in the continent in the coming years.
Wanyama was keen to move to White Hart Lane earlier in the season but the St Mary’s club insisted he was not for sale and has been linked with another move in this January transfer window.
“Wanyama is an important player in Kenyan football, I first saw him when I was commentating in a Champions League game in Glasgow and he played quite well and now he is in a better league so it’s good for Kenya.
“Wanyama is a good example of what Africa can produce somebody who can run everywhere in the midfield, he can go from box to box. He has the discipline, let’s wait for a few years and you will see him growing to become among the best in the continent,” M’Boma who won the 2000 Olympics Games with the Indomitable Lions illustrated.
“It will be a good thing for him to be more recognised because if I go to France and I ask people if they know Wanyama almost half of them will say they don’t because they are not following the club he is playing for so if he moves to a team that everybody follows I’m sure it will be great for him,” the 45-year-old who resides in France stated.
On matters concerning Football Kenya Federation national elections that are scheduled to be held on February 10 in Nairobi, M’Boma pointed out that only officials who have the interest of the sport in heart will enable the national team Harambee stars compete with top football nations in the continent.
“Kenyan football like all the 53 federations in Africa has to be helped to improve not only asking the association presidents but it’s a collective responsibility from all stakeholders to make the growth possible.
“I understand the elections were supposed to be held in December but were postponed. In my opinion, I think Kenya has to ask support from FIFA but of course you need to have experience people because results come from a good organisation,” M’Boma, a two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner, outlined.
He believes Frenchman Jerome Champagne is the next FIFA president to replace suspended long serving Sepp Blatter in the world governing body that has been tainted by corruption.
“I would like Champagne to win the upcoming FIFA elections because he knows African football and it should be a good connection to help the Kenyan FA grow. He is willing to increase the number of teams in the world from five.”
The 2000 African Footballer of the Year did not read from the same script as Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure that Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not deserve to win the award.
“Awards are prestigious and I understand Yaya Toure and Andre Ayew dissatisfaction because Aubameyang won. In this type of awards, it’s not decided by one person since everyone has his or her own opinions.
“Sometimes we have expectations that don’t go our way. In football the most difficult thing is to score goals and when somebody score a lot of goals he is always regarded as the best and that’s the reason I was nominated in 2000 because I scored important goals but that has nothing to do with the quality of Aubameyang who deserved the award,” The sports analyst with a French channel, explained.
When it comes to the 1998 World Cup many people remember France lifting the prestigious title at home soil but no one can forget M’Boma’s memorable overhead kick goal against France which he says is one among his highlights in his career.
“I won the Olympics it’s a memorable moment, I also won the AFCON twice but the first one in 2000 was amazing since we beat hosts Nigeria in penalties to become champions. Also playing against big names like George Weah, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon was something amazing.
“The over kick goal I scored against France was unforgettable. It was the only goal I scored and it was important because we were Olympics and African champions while France were both World and European champions so they were a great opponent.
“We played in France where I grew up and there is nothing best I could do than what I did for Cameroon, so for me it was only a friendly game,” M’Boma who featured for PSG, Parma and Sunderland among others concluded.