Nigeria and Chelsea star, Victor Moses, missed the final three shortlist for the African Player of the Year announced by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday.
Liverpool duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were joined by Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the race for who wears the crown as the best footballer in the continent for the next one year.
Since 1999 when Nwankwo Kanu won the award for a second time in three years, no Nigerian player has had the privilege of emerging the best in the continent.
The CAF awards was largely dominated by Nigerian players in the 1990s with late Rashidi Yekini who upstaged Abedi Pele to win the crown in 1993 and followed up by Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994 before legendary George Weah broke the domination the following year by adding both European and World Football of the Year crown to his cabinet.
The exploits of Kanu with Ajax and the Atlanta 1996 Olympic triumph gave the former Golden Eaglet the crown. Victor Ikpeba won the 1997 edition. Moroccan Mustapha Hadji was the gap between Ikpeba and Nwankwo’s second win in 1999.
Since then, Nigeria has been relegated to final shortlist cadre with Austin Okocha going headlong with Cameroonian, Samuel Etoo Fils on three occasions while John Mikel Obi lost on two occasions to Yaya Toure of Côte d Ivoire.
Early this month, Salah had beaten Moses to the BBC African Footballer of the Year crown. Last year’s winner Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Leicester City missed out on the original list of nominees for the 2017 edition.
While announcing the final shortlist yesterday, CAF made some alterations in the categories of the awards following the removal of the Player of the Year Based in Africa as well as the Referees category. No reason was given for the alterations.
In the nominees for other categories listed yesterday, Hugo Broos, who led Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title in February missed out on the final three-man list after being named among the original five nominees.
However, Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr, Hector Cuper (Egypt) and L’Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Athletic) are in the race for Best Coach of the Year.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala was listed alongside Chrestina Kgatlana of South Africa and Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene of Cameroon for the best female player category.
CAF also released the shortlists for several of its other award categories, which will be handed out on 4 January in Accra, Ghana.
African Player of the Year:
- Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and B. Dortmund)
- Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool)
Women’s Player of the Year:
- Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Dalian Quanjian)
- Chrestina Kgatlana (South Africa and UWC Ladies)
- Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene(Cameroon and CSKA Moscow)
Women’s National Team of the Year:
- Ghana U-20
- Nigeria U-20
- South Africa
Coach of the Year:
- Gernot Rohr (Nigeria)
- Hector Cuper (Egypt)
- L’Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Athletic Club)
National Team of the Year:
Club of the Year:
- Al Ahly
- TP Mazembe
- Wydad Athletic Club
Youth Player of the Year:
- Krepin Diatta (Senegal and Sarpsborg)
- Patson Daka (Zambia and Liefering)
- Salam Giddou (Mali and Guidars)