Mo’Salah retains CAF award

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Mohamed Salah completed a memorable day for Egyptian football by retaining his African Player of the Year title in Senegal on Tuesday.

Just as he did 12 months ago, the Liverpool forward held off competition from teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to land the award.

It was an identical outcome to last year when Salah became only the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mahmoud al Khatib to be voted the best footballer in Africa.

A poll of CAF’s national teams’ head coaches and technical directors, members of the governing body’s technical and development committee and a panel of media experts selected Salah as the continent’s outstanding footballer in 2018.

The Egyptian received the accolade at a ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, on Tuesday evening, where he was also included in the Africa Best XI for 2018 alongside Mane and Naby Keita.

While the 15-vote winning margin for Egypt was unexpected, the success of Salah was anticipated as he continues to score regularly for the English Premier League leaders.

Egypt crushed sole rivals South Africa 16-1 earlier on Tuesday in a CAF executive committee vote in Dakar to decide which country succeeded Cameroon as 2019 Cup of Nations hosts.

Delays to preparations and concerns about security resulted in the central African nation being replaced as hosts, and they will stage the 2021 tournament instead.

He scored 44 times during a 2017-18 campaign in which he helped his club reach the Champions League final, before then netting twice at last summer’s World Cup.

A further 16 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool have followed so far this season, while Salah also contributed four goals in three Africa Cup of Nations qualification outings for his country in 2018.

The 26-year-old’s performances throughout the year also saw him retain the BBC African Footballer of the Year prize and finish sixth in the Ballon d’Or standings.

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