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  Monday, 15 April, 2002, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Kuffour receives BBC award
Sammy Kuffour and Mohammed Kallon
Sammy Kuffour beat Kallon (r) and El-Hadj Diouf
By BBC Sport Online's Jenny Horrocks in Johannesburg

Ghana's Samuel Osei Kuffour has finally got his hands on the BBC's African Footballer of the Year trophy.

Kuffour was to have received it at the African Cup of Nations in Mali, but the chance was missed after Ghana's coach sent Kuffour home after the Black Stars' first match.

Kuffour's face lit up when he saw the trophy, which is circular, with bronze trumpets coming out from the centre.

It looks like a small football and the player said it reminded him of the small footballs his mother used to buy for him when he was a child.


Kuffour has won several trophies in the past, but he said this one is one of the greatest.

"To be voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year is not an easy thing and it's a great opportunity for me" he said clearly delighted with his prize.
Sammy Kuffour lifts the European Cup
Kuffour helped Bayern to the European Cup

"This award is for the whole African continent," he said.

Mindful of the one-year anniversary of the Ellis Park tragedy in South Africa and the Accra stadium disaster in his native Ghana, Kuffour remembered those who lost their lives.

His mother, his President, and the boys he used to play with on the streets of Kumasi were also in his thoughts.

Unfortunately, 2002 hasn't gone Kuffour's way.

The year got off to a bad start after he was sent home from the Nations Cup for what the coach described as "unruly behaviour".

Next week he returns from a six game suspension in the German league, after a bad tackle in a league encounter against Schalke.

But Kuffour's achievements in 2001 cannot be disputed.

He won the league and European Cup titles with Bayern Munich and scored against Boca Juniors of Argentina in the final of the World Club Cup, winning a third trophy for his team.

Changing luck?

In Ghana he was voted both Footballer and Sportsman of the year.

On Tuesday night Kuffour will find out whether those voting for the Caf player of the year feel the same way as fans who selelcted him for the BBC award.

El Hadj Diouf of Senegal, and Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o Fils are the other two players shortlisted by Caf.

Issa Hayatou, Caf president, will preside over those awards on Tuesday evening.

Ghana's Samuel Osei Kuffour
"2001 was a year that God made for me"
See also:

15 Apr 02 |  Africa
Kuffour confident of top award
11 Mar 02 |  Africans abroad
Kuffour given six-match ban
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