International sports television channel ESPN has rated China-based Malawian female football icon Tabitha Chawinga as the best African women’s football player for April.
The sports channel has singled out the Malawian for her stellar performance in the Chinese women’s top-flight league in which she scored five goals in five games for Wuhan Jiangda.
On a list dominated by Nigerian players, the 25-year-old stood head and shoulders above nine other oveaseas-based African stars.
Reads part of an article posted on espn.com: “April saw a new Chinese Women’s Super League season get underway and Tabitha Chawinga came flying out of the blocks.
“The Malawi international tops our Women’s Power Rankings for April, with Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia and Ivory Coast also represented.
“Asisat Oshoala [reigning African Women’s Footballer of the Year], returned to action for Barcelona, but did not have a chance to make enough of an impact to instantly reclaim her spot in our top 10.”
The article says Chawinga stood out after hitting back-to-back braces in the 3-0 win over Beijing BG Phoenix and the 4-0 drubbing of Henan Jianye, after scoring her opening goal of the season in a 3-1 win over Sichuan.
Wuhan currently top the league table with 18 points from their opening six games.
In an interview yesterday, Tabitha said she felt humbled to be rated the best.
She said: “Indeed, I did really well last month, but I didn’t expect to top the tankings.
“To me, it is an honour and a motivating factor to keep on working hard.
“As I always say, this boils down to good team spirit at Wuhan. I owe it to my team-mates because without them, I wouldn’t get this recognition.”
National Women Football Association president Suzgo Ngwira said they are proud of the prolific forward’s continued exploits.
She said: “She is in a class of her own and continues to perform wonders. Tabitha continues to make her country proud.
“Hopefully, she will go on to win the Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year Award some day.”
In the rankings, US-based Ifeoma Onumonu of Gotham FC came second after impressing for club and country, scoring in Gotham’s 1-1 National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup draw with North Carolina Courage, before netting for Nigeria in their impressive 2-2 draw with Olympic champions Canada. Another Nigerian, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, who plays for French top league club Paris FC, came third.