Africa: Seko Fofana Wins Prize for Best African Footballer in French First Division


The Lens midfielder Seko Fofana was on Monday awarded the Prix Marc Vivien-Foe to salute his performances as the best African player in France’s top flight during the 2021/2022.

The 27-year-old Ivorian came in ahead of the Rennes duo Hamari Traoré and Nayef Aguerd.

Fofana follows Gael Kakuta as the second consecutive Lens player to lift the accolade decided by a jury of RFI and France 24 sports journalists as well as former players and pundits.

He garnered 221 points while Traoré – from Mali – won 91 points and the Morocco international Aguerd received 77 points.

The prize is awarded in honour of the Cameroon international Foe who played for Lens, Lyon and Manchester City while he was in Europe before his death at the age of 28.

On 26 June 2003, during Cameroon’s Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia in Lyon, Foe collapsed on the pitch.

He died later in the stadium’s medical centre. An autopsy discovered evidence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a hereditary condition known to increase the risk of sudden death during physical exercise. Tributes poured in hailing his ebullience and humour.


“I’m proud to win this award and to be recognised in this way,” Fofana told RFI. “It’s a wonderful prize which brings back many memories.

“The first time I went into a stadium was to the Stade de France with my dad to watch France’s match against Turkey. And it was during that day when we heard the news about Marc-Vivien Foe.