Nigerians missing as CAF lists Aubameyang, Mahrez for player of the year award
The African Football Confederation (CAF) has released the names of five players shortlisted to vie for its Glo-CAF 2016 African Player of the Year Award without a Nigerian.
The names of the 5 players according to a statement on the body’s website, cafonline.com are: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borrusia Dortmund), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma) and Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City).
For the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa), the top five are; Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns & Zimbabwe), Keegan Dolly (Mamelodi Sundowns & South Africa), Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe & Zambia)
Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns & South Africa) and Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns & Uganda).
It said the top five was decided by votes from the members of the CAF Media Committee, CAF Technical and Development Committee and half of the 20-member Panel of Experts (10 persons).
The statement said that for the final phase, votes from the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the 54 National Associations affiliated to CAF plus Associate Members will be involved.
Also, Reunion Island and Zanzibar, together with the other half of the 20-member Panel of Experts (10 persons) will be counted towards the determination of the eventual winners, it said.
The statement added that the 2016 Glo-CAF Awards Gala, sponsored by telecommunication giants, Globacom, will be held on Jan. 5, 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
However, Super Eagles Captain John Obi Mikel was unable to make the final shortlist, a development pundits said was because of his lack of playing this season at Chelsea.
NAN reports that Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City and Alex Iwobi of Arsenal Fc of England were nominated for the awards.
NAN also reports that Nwankwo Kanu is the last Nigerian to win the prestigious football award in 1996 and 1999 while still playing for Arsenal FC of England.