Nigerians have hailed the nomination of three Nigerian internationals for the 2016 African Player of the Year in the Glo-CAF Awards.
The Confederation of African Football late on Saturday in Cairo released the list of 30 shortlisted players including three Nigerians, John Mikel Obi of Chelsea, Ahmed Musa of Leicester City and Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City for African Player of the Year Awards alongside 25 nominees for African Player of the Year, based in Africa.
The nomination of the three players has been commended by Nigerians, with majority of them hoping that one of the nominees will emerge the continents’ number one player at the 2016 Glo CAF Awards gala in Abuja on January 5, 2017.
Ex- international, Mr. Victor Ikpeba popularly known as ‘Prince of Monaco’ believed that the nomination of the Nigerian players will inspire other Nigerian footballers across the world to work harder and make Nigeria proud next season.
“The nomination of Kelechi, Mikel and Musa is a good development and will encourage others. Hopefully we will have more Nigerians on the list next year.” Ikpeba, a former African Player of the Year added.
According to the Group Sports Editor of Nation Newspapers, Mr. Ade Ojeikere, “This is a good development. Let’s hope that they will eventually make the top three and one of them will pick the award after many years.”
Also speaking on the list, Sports Editor of PM Express Newspapers, Mr. Taiwo Adelu, said “This is encouraging. Looking forward to Top 10 and hoping the Nigerians will make it and move on to the Top 3.”
Other notable names in the list are reining African Footballer of the Year, Gabon and Borrusia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Camerron’s Samuel Eto’o, the duo of Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Leicester City of London. Others are Andre Ayew of Ghana and West ham, Victor Wanyama of Kenya and Tottenham and Cote d’ Ivoire’s Eric Bailly and Yao Kouasi Gervais (Gervinho) of Manchester United and Hebei Fortune FC respectively.
CAF will release a shortlist of Top 10 players in the coming weeks.
The annual award, sponsored by Nigerian telecommunication giant, Globacom is expected to congregate top football celebrities and government officials across Africa.