Last updated 8 months ago | By Ernest Ndunda
Victor Ikpeba, the 1997 African Footballer of the Year in 1997, arrived in Mombasa yesterday for tomorrow’s Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) gala.
He traveled on Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and on hand to receive him was Mombasa County Chief Executive in charge of Sports Rajab Babu.
“May I take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to Mombasa on behalf of Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho,” said Babu.
Ikpeba said he enjoyed the SGR trip and he would like to return on it to Nairobi.
Ikpeba, who featured at the 1994 and 1998 Fifa World Cup tournaments for Nigeria, said: “It was a great travel from Nairobi to Mombasa. I loved the scenery,” he said.
The Nigerian, who won the Ebony Shoe as the finest African player in the Belgian league in 1993, will be the chief guest at the Soya gala set for Mombasa Sports Club tomorrow. night. Mombasa hosted to last year’s event at Fort Jesus Museum.
Ikpeba 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 Middle East before he retired.
Soya gala head of secretariat Simon Chebon said preparations are in top gear.
“The event starts at 6pm on Friday at Mombasa Sports Club were several personalities led by Nigerian former footballer Victor Ikpeba will grace the occasion,” said Chebon.
Today, the Nigerian will be at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa for a football clinic with Bandari FC players.
After the Bandari event, Ikpeba will head to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to meet the managing director before taking a boat ride in the afternoon.
Tomorrow, the Nigerian will pay courtesy call to Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho ahead of the Soya gala.
This year’s ceremony has been sponsored by Safaricom with co-sponsorship from County Government of Mombasa, Kenya Pipeline, Communication Authority of Kenya, New KCC, Lap Fund, Kenya Power, UBA Bank, Nairobi Bottlers, Kenya Ports Authority, NHIF, NSSF, Kenya Tourism Board and GOtv.
Meanwhile Kenya Tong-Il Moo-Do Federation, who finished at the world championships, is among four sports associations battling for honours at Soya event.