By Ogova Ondego
Published April 27, 2015
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala is among the five players nominated for the inaugural BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Award.
The five names, that include Spain’s Veronica Boquete, Germany’s Nadine Kessler, Scotland’s Kim Little and Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva, were announced on BBC World Service on April 26, 2015 as public voting commenced. The winner will be unveiled on BBC World Service on May 26, 2015.
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English, said, “With anticipation building ahead of the Women’s World Cup in Canada in June we’re thrilled to announce the shortlist for the first BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award. The five shortlisted players represent the creme de la creme of female footballers from across the globe.”
Twenty-year-old Oshoala who plays for Liverpool in England and whose name was read last, said she felt appreciated though she was surprised to have made the shortlist. “This award is a very good thing for women’s football. It can really help us by encouraging other countries to support their ladies more and treat them the same way they treat the men.”
Saying she was really happy to be shortlisted, 28-year-old Spanish midfielder Veronica Boquete, whose name was the first to be announced on air, said, “To have all the media talking about this award is really important to help our sport grow.”
“I am very honoured to be nominated for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Award. It is a special award because this time the fans are given the opportunity to vote for the players,” said the 1988-born 2013 European Championship winner Nadine Kessler of Germany.
Twenty-four-year-old Kim Little, who plays for Seattle Reign in the United States, said, “Considering the competitiveness and the amount of great players there are worldwide, it’s extremely nice to be recognised.”
On her part, Brazil’s 1986-born Marta Vieira da Silva, a World Cup runner-up, said, “I feel very happy to be nominated and already feel victorious just for being in the final five. It’s very special because you are being judged by the public, the people who follow you.”
The BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year Award is aimed at celebrating “the top female footballers currently competing in one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.â€ It comes at a time when women’s soccer fans are focused on the FIFA Women’s World Cup that is scheduled for June 6-July 5, 2015 in the Canadian cities of Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
Of the five players nominated for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, only Scotland’s Kim Little will not be in Canada for the tournament as her team is not among the 24 that shall be seeking glory on the soccer pitch.
“This award is a great opportunity to highlight the incredible skill level and depth of talent that exists in women’s football globally,â€ Caroline Rigby, managing editor of the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year, said at the inauguration of the award. â€œIt will demonstrate how far the game has come in recent years and will enable fans to introduce new fans to the best players in the world.â€
Public voting opened as soon as the five names were announced. Fans are encouraged to vote online through the BBC website or by SMS before the May 11, 2015 deadline.
Voting is done by texting the number of the player one wishes to vote for to +44 7786 20 20 04 .
Text 1 for Veronica Boquete; 2 for Nadine Kessler; 3 for Kim Little; 4 for Marta; and 5 for Asisat Oshoala.