Press release by RFI & FRANCE24
Lille’s (LOSC) Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen won the Marc-Vivien Foé RFI-France 24 Prize for best African player in the French Ligue 1, the French football championship for the 2019-2020 season. The runners up are the Algerian forward Islam Slimani (Monaco) and the Moroccan defender Yunis Abdelhamid (Stade Rennais). Victor Osimhen was chosen by a jury of sport journalists specializing in French and African Football. He was included in a list of 11 players drafted by RFI’s and France 24’s sports services. They had at heart to highlight this year’s season, which had been full of astonishing performances by African players, before being stopped on March 13 because of the coronavirus crisis.
This edition of the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize celebrates football, while supporters are temporarily unable to watch or attend games, and the achievements of African players in Ligue 1, some of whom could change championship at the end of the season.
About Victor Osimhen
Osimhen arrived in Ligue 1 in 2019 to replace Nicolas Pépé who left for Arsenal F.C. He quickly became one of the biggest scorers of the French championship. With 13 goals and 4 assists in 27 games, the Nigerian is amongst the best players of Ligue 1. At 21, the forward, trained in Lagos, has already played in Germany (VfL Wolfsburg), Belgium (Charleroi) and is now a player of choice in Christophe Galtier’s team. Osimhen is the fifth Lille player awarded best African player in Ligue 1 after Gervinho (2010, 2011), Vincent Enyeama (2014), Sofiane Boufal (2016) and Nicolas Pépé (2019).
Since 2011, the best African player in Ligue 1 trophy is named after Marc-Vivien Foé, to honour the Cameroonian player who tragically passed during a game at the Gerland stadium in Lyon on June 26 2003.
Winners of the former editions:
2009 : Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)
2010 : Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
2011 : Gervinho (Ivory Coast)
2012 : Younès Belhanda (Morocco)
2013 : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
2014 : Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
2015 : André Ayew (Ghana)
2016 : Sofiane Boufal (Morocco)
2017 : Jean Michaël Seri (Ivory Coast)
2018 : Karl Toko-Ekambi (Cameroon)
2019 : Nicolas Pépé (Ivory Coast).
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a Nigerian writer, editor, journalist, and curator. As Editor of Folio Nigeria, he profiles innovators and facilitators in culture: business, art, photography, music, activism, health, food. He has extensive experience working in the African literary scene. He is currently the chair of judges for The Gerald Kraak Prize, Africa’s only award for social justice, sexuality, and gender, and he was a judge for The Morland Scholarship, Africa’s biggest grant. He was an editor at 14, Nigeria's first queer art collective, and Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. From late 2016 to early 2020, he led the transformation of the literary blog Brittle Paper to a standard platform, creating and administering The Brittle Paper Awards, the first by an African publication. His work in queer visibility advocacy has been profiled in Literary Hub. In 2019, he won the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among "The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians" by Avance Media. He completed a collection of short stories in 2016 and his novel in 2020. He has an MA in African studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. From 2017 to 2018, he taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him on otosirieze.com or on Twitter & Insta: @otosirieze.