Ighalo only Nigerian left on CAF best player list

The Confederation of African Football has released a final 10-man shortlist for the Africa Player of the Year award.

The shortlist, which was decided by votes from a CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts, has Odion Ighalo as the only Nigerian left in contention for the award.

Wilfred Ndidi and Victor Osimhen, who were both in the initial 30-man shortlist, were left out.

The 10-man list has Senegal’s Sadio Mane, who placed fourth at the Ballon d’Or on Monday and fifth placed Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah from Egypt.

Algeria has three players: Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, AC Milan’s Ismail Bennacer and Ahli Jeddah’s Youcef Belaili.

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly joined Mane as the other Senegalese on the list, while Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech are sole representatives from Gabon and Morocco respectively.

There is also a place for Ziyech’s club mate and Cameroonian, Andre Onana.

Super Eagles duo Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze headline the five-man Youth Player of The Year award shortlist.

Others are Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi, Senegal’s Krépin Diatta and Moussa Djenepo from Mali.

Super Falcons captain Asisat Oshoala makes the Women’s Player of The Year shortlist, which also has Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout and Gabrielle Onguene; Malawi’s Tabitha Chawinga and Thembi Kgatlana from South Africa.

Former Falcons coach Thomas Dennerby also makes the Women’s Coach of The Year shortlist, while Nigeria are included in both the Men’s National Team of The Year and Women’s National Team of The Year shortlists.

Winners of each category will be announced during the CAF Awards ceremony on January 7, 2020 at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt.

Salah beat Mane and Aubameyang to second and third place respectively at last year’s award.

The last Nigerian to win the African Footballer of the Year award was Nwankwo Kanu in 1999.

<<Punch>>