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Egypt’s Salah retains African Footballer of the Year Award


[FILE] African Footballer of the Year, Egypt and Liverpool striker Mohammed Salah speaks during a press conference after the CAF awards at the Accra International Press Conference in Accra, on January 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA ALDEHUELA

• Dennerby, Oshoala, Ordega lose to South Africans
• No Nigerian in Africa’s Best X1

Egypt’s striker, Mohammed Salah yesterday in the island of Goree, Dakar, Senegal beat his Liverpool teammate, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabon’s Arsenal striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to retain the CAF African Footballer of the Year award he won last year. Salah, who earlier in the year defeated the same trio to win the BBC version of the award, was adjudged as the finest footballer from the continent by the judges made up of national team coaches and captains.

Nigeria was a big loser in the awards as South Africa’s Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana dethroned Asisat Oshoala as Africa’s Women’s Player of the Year, just as Desiree Ellis beat Thomas Dennerby to the Women’s Coach of the Year. Kgatlana also took the Goal of the Year award.

The Youth Player of the Year award went to Achraf Hakimi of Morocco, who plays for Borussia Dortmund of Germany.Morocco’s Coach, Herve Renard beat Gernot Rohr to the Men’s Coach of the Year crown, while surprise national team of the past year, Mauritania, won the Men’s National Team of the Year.

Despite the efforts of Victor Moses, Etebo Oghenkaro, Wilfred Ndidi and Ahmed Musa last year, no Nigerian was deemed good enough for the African Best XI, but the Super Falcons got a consolation of sorts for the country as they were named the Women’s National Team of the Year.

For his contributions to African football, Senegal’s President, Macky Sall got the Platinum Awards.Nigerians inside the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center had a moment to cheer when former super Falcons’ star, Cynthia Uwak was mentioned among the legends of female football in Africa.
Uwak, a two-time winner of Africa’s best footballer award, was named in a roll of past award winners.

CAF at the awards relived memories of how Uwak was twice named the continent’s best player.CAF’s preview at the ceremony read in part: “The Women’s Player of the Year has been dominated by Nigeria since its inception in 2001.

“The Super Falcons have contributed four Queens of African Football – Mercy Akide, Perpetua Nkwocha, Cynthia Uwak and Asisat Oshoala.“Akide was the first to be crowned queen of the African game whilst Nkwocha was decorated a record four times (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011).“(This is) a record Oshoala is one shy of after triumphs in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Uwak also won back-to-back titles (2006, 2007).“Ghana has two titles – Alberta Sackey (2002) and Adjoa Bayor (2003); with South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon one crown each in Noko Matlou (2008), Genoveva Anonma (2012) and Gaelle Enganamouit (2015) respectively.”

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