*Salah, Mane and Mahrez filled with suspense in race for Player of Year
In the absence of any Super Eagles players amongst the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez in the final shortlist for African Footballer of the Year to be crowned this evening in Egypt, Nigerians can take consolation in Asisat Oshoala clinching a fourth title as the best female player in the continent.
However, Oshoala has the duo of South African Thembi Kgatlana and Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout Njoya to contend with in the race to matching the record set by Perpetua Nkwocha in 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011.
Oshoala who is favoured for the title tonight at the prestigious ceremony slated for the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt, was crowned winner in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Other Nigerian stars also expected to walk home with laurels include Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze who are in the battle for the Young Player of the Year award along with Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi.
Nigeria’s senior women’s team, the Super Falcons is primed for the award of the Women’s National Team of the Year, having successfully retained their continental crown in Ghana in December 2018 and reached the knockout stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last year summer.
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses and Banyana Banyana of South Africa are contending against the nine-time African champions.
Former Super Falcons’ runaway coach, Thomas Dennerby, is also in the running for honours after being listed for the Women’s Coach of the Year for his work with the team. He will battle South Africa’s Desire Ellis and Cameroon’s Alain Djeumfa.
The final phase of voting for the men’s and women’s African Player of the Year, as well as the male and female Coach of the Year, will be selected by Head Coaches/Technical Directors and Captains of senior national teams from CAF Member Associations.
Meanwhile, the Inter-clubs Player of the Year will be decided upon by the Head Coaches and Captains of the group phase of the current season of CAF Inter-clubs competitions.
THE TOP THREE CONTENDERS:
AFRICAN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
AFRICAN WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga)
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona)
Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC)
AFRICAN INTER-CLUBS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Anice Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)
Youcef Belaïli (Algeria & Esperance / Ahli Jeddah)
AFRICAN YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria & Villarreal)
Victor Osimhen (Nigeria & Lille)
AFRICAN MEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Aliou Cisse (Senegal – Senegal)
Djamel Belmadi (Algeria – Algeria)
Moïne Chaâbani (Tunisia – Esperance)
AFRICAN WOMEN’S COACH OF THE YEAR
Alain Djeumfa (Cameroon)
Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)
AFRICAN MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR
AFRICAN WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR