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Afful Crowned SWAG 2014 Footballer of the Year   
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Ghanaian international Harrison Afful emerged winner of the enviable 2014 MTN SWAG Footballer of the Year award last Saturday at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

Afful surprisingly beat Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan, and his deputy Andre Ayew who many had tipped to win the coveted prize.

Many tipped Gyan for the award based on his sterling performance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, scoring two great goals to become Africa’s all-time top scorer.

Former Olympique Marseille star, Ayew, on the other hand, put up a classic display at the last World Cup.

But surprisingly, Afful’s uninterrupted season with Tunisian side Esperance, where he scored some crucial goals in the CAF Champions League, as well as his performance with the senior national team at Brazil 2014 might have caught the attention of the organisers of the awards to choose him above his colleagues.

The keenly-contested Premiership Player of the Year award, which is reserved for home-based players, was won by Augustine Okrah, formerly of Bechem United, after beating Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s Abeiku Ainooson and Kwabena Adusei.

Martha Bissah and Sharon Quaye took home two awards each — Discovery of the Year and Athlete of the Year, as well as Promising Star of the Year and Taekwwondo Star of the Year respectively.

swag awards

Other awardees were Jennifer Cudjoe (Female Footballer of the Year), Elizabeth Opoku (Hockey Player of the Year), Umar Abdul Walid (Amateur Boxer of the Year) and Richard Commey (Professional Boxer of the Year).

Special awards were given to Edmund Zankoh, Anthony Baffoe, Magnus Rex Danquah and Akolya Pattel for their diverse contributions to sports development in the country.

Corporate awards also went to McDan Ghana Limited and Dwadifo Adanfo for their support for tennis and hockey respectively.

The Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, who was the Guest of Honour, advocated a national plan for sports development in the country to avoid casualties in sports administration and serve as a guide.

Speaking on the theme “The Search for Sustainable Funding for Sports: The Role of the Private Sector”, Nana Nketsia stated that sports was one emerging industry which had not received the needed attention as a result of the perceptions and misconceptions that people held against it.

“Something must change to make sports attractive in this country” he stated.

The occasion was graced by dignitaries such as Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Minister of Youth and Sports, Ambassador Ray Quarcoo, Nii Amarkai Amarteifio, a Patron of SWAG, Mr Ebenezer Twum Asante, the very first Ghanaian CEO of MTN, and Mr Solomon Lartey, acting Deputy Director of Activa Insurance and Chief Segun Odegbami, the Nigerian football icon, popularly known as ‘Mathematical’ for his precision.
Source: graphic sports

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