Super Eagles’ forward, Alex Iwobi is Nigeria’s only hope of winning the 2018 African Footballer of the Year Award as he made it to the final 10 nominees for the award after the duo of Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa were dropped from the initial 34 earlier released by CAF, reports.
Iwobi will have to contend with reigning champion Mohammed Salah, Gunners teammate Aubemeyang and of course, Senegal’s Saido Mane who are all favourites for the award.
In the young player category, Super Eagles’ and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi remains on course to claim his first CAF award after the Nigerian made the final three nominations alongside Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Franck Kessie of Ivory Coast.
It was, however, all good for Nigeria in the Women’s category with three-time African Footballer of the Year Asisiat Oshoala making the cut with Francisca Ordega and defender Onome Ebi. Desire Oparanozie was dropped from the initial nominees’ list.
2018 AWCON MVP and highest goal score Christina Thembi Kgatlana will definitely be the favourite to dislodge Oshoala after the South African forward impressed at the recently concluded Women’s championship in Ghana.
Similarly, Nigeria female national team, the Super Falcons have also been shortlisted for the team of the year whilst head coach Thomas Dennerby also makes the cut for the coach of the year award.
The shortlisted nominees were decided by votes from the members of the CAF Technical & Development Committee.
The final phase will involve votes from CAF Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, and Coaches & Captains of the 54 Member Associations.
The Awards Gala will be held on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.
Nominees in Full
African Player of the Year
1. Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)
2. Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)
3. Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
4. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
5. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)
6. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)
8. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
9. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
10. Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly)
Women’s Player of the Year
1. Abdulai Mukarama (Ghana & Northern Ladies)
2. Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Dilian Quanjian)
3. Bassira Toure (Mali & AS Mande)
4. Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Houston Dash)
5. Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Seattle Reign)
6. Francisca Ordega (Nigeria & Washington Spirit)
7. Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moskow)
8. Janine Van Wyk (South Africa & Houston Dash)
9. Onome Ebi (Nigeria & Hekan Huisanhang)
10. Raissa Feudjio (Cameroon & Aland United)
11. Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi & Jiangsu Suning)
Youth Player of the Year
1. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmunmd)
2. Franck Kessie (Cote d’Ivoire & AC Milan)
3. Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria & Leicester City)
Men’s Coach of the Year
1. Aliou Cisse (Senegal)
2. Herve Renard (Morocco)
3. Moine Chaabani (Esperance)
Women’s Coach of the Year
1. Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
2. Joseph Brian Ndoko (Cameroon)
3. Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)
Men’s National Team of the Year
1. Madagascar
2. Mauritania
3. Uganda
Women’s National Team of the Year
1. Cameroon
2. Nigeria
3. South Africa