Wednesday, April 20, 2005

AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR 2002

The flip side of Diouf ~ By Osasu Obayiuwana

After spitting at Celtic fan Dominic Schiavone and Portsmouth captain Arjan De Zeeuw, there are few people brave enough to describe El Hadji Diouf as a sterling ambassador for football.
The former African Footballer of the Year, sanctioned by Senegal manager Guy Stephan for partying before the team travelled to Liberia for a World Cup qualifier, divides opinion polls like no other player in his home nation.
"As a player he has brought a lot to the national team but he has not been able to handle the success and money that has come with it," said Senegalese journalist Tidiane Sy.
"Journalists have talked to psychologists, to understand why he is such a difficult player."
My initial encounter with him in South Africa, where I handed the striker his 2002 BBC African Footballer of the Year title, did little to change this perception.

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