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Nigerian legend top guest at Soya gala

Wednesday March 18 2020
By AYUMBA AYODI

Former Africa player of the year, Victor Ikpeba, will be the chief celebrity guest during this year’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (Soya) gala planned for Friday at the Mombasa Sports Club.

The former Nigeria Super Eagles star, who was crowned Africa’s finest in 1997, is expected in the country Tuesday.

The 46-year-old will hold a series of clinics with local football sides ahead of the gala.

“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 a country that has rich sporting talent like Kenya,” said Ikpeba, who will be visiting Kenya for the third time.

“I have just been to 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,” said Ikpeba.

Ikpeba said the second time was a quiet visit 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,” said Ikpeba.

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Ikpeba, who featured at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, had stints with French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and Spanish La Liga side Real Betis.

He also played for Al-Ittihad in the Libyan Premier League from 2002 to 2003, featured for Belgian club Royal Charleroi Sporting Club in 2004, before joining Al-Sadd in Qatar, where he hanged his boots.

This year’s gala has Safaricom as the main sponsors with County Government of Mombasa, Kenya Pipeline, Communications Authority of Kenya and New KCC coming in as co-sponsors.

Others are Lapfund, Kenya Power, UBA Bank, Nairobi Bottlers, Kenya Ports Authority, NHIF, NSSF, Kenya Tourism Board and GOtv.

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