NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – Nigeria’s former Africa player of the year Victor Ikpeba will be the chief guest at the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) to be held January 24 at the Mombasa Sports Club.
The former Nigeria Super Eagles star, who was crowned Africa’s finest in 1997, is expected in the country on Tuesday, then he will travel to Mombasa to hold a series of clinics with the local football sides before attending the gala on Friday.
“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. He also had stints with teams in the Middle East before he hanged his boots.
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.