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Soccer News of Tuesday, 25 September 2001

Source: Graphic Sports

Kuffour, star at SWAG night

Last Saturday night would forever remain one of the most important in the life of Hearts forward player, Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour.

After 10 years of hard work and relishing the dream of walking in the steps of such great soccer stars as Abedi Pele, his dream came true. He may not have achieved half the feat of the soccer maestro, but he joined him among the nation’s soccer heroes when he was crowned the Best Footballer of the Year 2000 by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) at its 26th Awards Night held at the M-Plaza Hotel in Accra.

For Osei Kuffour, though the award, for which the nomination came as a surprise, is something to be proud of, he sees it as a challenge to achieve greater feats.

“Indeed, I see my award as a big challenge, and since it is possible for a footballer to pick the prestigious SWAG Sports Personality Award, I would strive very hard to come back and win that award,” he told the Graphic Sports in an interview.

Kuffour’s award which comprised, a trophy donated by Swiss Air, a computer, a printer and other computer accessories donated by Digitronix, an Information Technology Company, wax prints from Akosombo Textiles Limited and a certificate of honour was the highlight of an impressive evening.

The local and continental assignments robbed the ceremony of some of its award winners notably the Referee of the Year, Mr Alex Quartey, Coach of the Year, Jones Attuquayefio and Goalking Ishmael Addo as well as Ofosu Amoah, the Prospect of the Year, Tennis Star Gunther Darkey, Frank Ofori who won the dedication and Valour Award, Aziz Zakari and Vida Anim who won the Athlete of the Year were also missed.

For Hearts of Oak however, Champion Chairman Harry Zakkour, impeccably dressed to pick his own award as the Best Chairman of the Year award, received the others on behalf of his club, coach and player and with his hands filled with all the four trophies, said, “this is just the beginning, Hearts are determined to come back and pick more awards,’ he said of his club’s achievement.

The other award winners: Elizabeth Baidu - Female Footballer of the Year, Joseph Agbeko - Promising Star of the Year, Agyeman Duah, Douglas Djarbeng and Ambition Boxing Promotions who all received special awards were all overwhelmed by their awards.

The night itself was a break away from the usual SWAG Dinner Dance and Awards Night but it still maintained its lustre and prestige with the simple but impressive presentation ceremony graced with the presence of Youth and Sports Minister, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, his Deputy Mr Joe Aggrey, the out-going SWAG President, the SWAG Patrons as well as other sports personalities.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah , though had words of commendation for the SWAG, he charged sports writers and commentators to live above reproach in their duties, urging them to hold seminars that would upgrade their knowledge about technical issues of the various events they cover.

Mr Ebo Quansah, the Acting President of the SWAG, appealed to the Attorney-General to act as a matter of urgency on the Report of the Commission chaired by Sam Okudzeto on the May 9 Accra Stadium Tragedy as well as the issue of the National Olympic Stadium Complex.

He also expressed the SWAG’s appreciation to Ghana Breweries Limited, Parleys Biscuits, Bamson Sikkens, Swiss Air, Akosombo Textiles Limited and Ashtead Ghana Limited for their timely financial support without which the ceremony would not have been held.