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CAF African Footballer Of The Year: Nigerians Drop​ Off 10-Man Shortlist

Ahmed Musa, Vincent Enyeama

The Confederation of African Football has released a shortlist of the 10 players still in the race for the 2015 Glo/CAF African Player of the Year award with no Nigerian player on the list.

Former Super Eagles captain Vincent Enyema and the new captain Ahmed Musa, who were on the 37-man list, dropped off when CAF released the top-10 names on Monday. The stark implication is that a Nigerian cannot win the most prestigious individual award for African players across the world.

Another former Eagles captain, Nwankwo Kanu, who was voted the African Player of the Year in 1999, stands as the last Nigerian to have won the title. Since then, the best Nigerians have achieved is finishing within the top three. Mikel Obi was the runner-up to Yaya Toure in 2013.

The 10-man shortlist published on CAF’s official website has three-time winner, Toure, André Ayew (Ghana and Swansea), Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Roma), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Borussia Dortmund) and Sadio Mané (Senegal and Southampton). Toure, who stars for Manchester City, has been tipped to retain the award with his country winning the African cup this year.

In the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) category, the ten shortlisted players include Baghdad Bounedjah of Algeria and Etoile Sportive Sahel of Tunisia, Abdeladim Khadrouf of Morocco, Felipe Ovono of Equatorial Guinea and Orlando Pirates of South Africa, Kermit Erasmus of South Africa and Orlando Pirates, and Mbwana Aly Samatta of Tanzania and TP Mazembe of Congo DR.

The winner will be decided by votes of the coaches or technical directors of the national associations affiliated to CAF.

The awards will be held on January 7, 2016 in Abuja.

Also on Tuesday CAF brought forward the draw for next year’s Championship for African Nations in Rwanda to November 15. CAF announced the draw in Kigali will now be staged three days earlier than originally slated.

All 16 finalists are now known after Cameroon defeated Congo on aggregate on Saturday. The other qualifiers for the 2016 CHAN are hosts Rwanda, Angola, DR Congo, Gabon, Ethiopia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Both defending champions Libya and last year’s runners-up Ghana failed to qualify for the 2016 CHAN.

The tournament reserved for African players featuring in their home leagues will be played from January 16 to February 7 in three Rwandan cities of Kigali, Gisenyi and Butare.

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