Last updated 8 months ago | By Game Yetu
Former Africa player of the year Victor Ikpeba will be the chief guest in this year’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Gala set for Mombasa Sports Club on Friday.
The former Nigeria Super Eagles star, who was crowned Africa’s finest in 1997, is expected in the country tomorrow, before travelling to Mombasa to hold a series of clinics with the local football sides before attending the gala on Friday night.
“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 county that has rich sporting talent like Kenya,” Ikpeba said.
He added: “I have 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," remembered Ikpeba.
"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 in 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 retired from active football.
This years gala has been sponsored by Safaricom with co-sponsorship from County Government of Mombasa, Kenya Pipeline, Communication Authority of Kenya and New KCC.
Other sponsors are Lapfund, Kenya Power, UBA Bank, Nairobi Bottlers, Kenya Ports Authority, NHIF, NSSF, Kenya Tourism Board and GOtv.