…as CAF unveils nominees for the 2023 CAF awards
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
DESPITE Zambia having enjoyed a successful year where they qualified for the delayed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations top of Group H which had Ivory Coast, no Zambian has been nominated in the various categories for the 2023 CAF Awards.
CAF has revealed the list of nominees for the men’s categories for the CAF Awards 2023 as preparations for the awards gala scheduled for December 11, 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco, gather momentum.
Chipolopolo coach Avran Grant has not been considered for the coach of the year award despite having finished the AFCON qualifiers unbeaten while Patson Daka, who was among the top scorers with five goals during the qualifiers is nowhere near the top 30.
The Chipolopolo boys will also watch as Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal and Tanzania fight for the national team of the year award.
Notable stars in the top 30 player of the year includes Ramy Bensebaini representing Algeria and Borussia Dortmund, Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Al Ahli, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa of Cameroon and SSC Napoli and Vincent Aboubacar representing Cameroon and Besiktas.
Others are Ibrahima Sangare of Ivory Coast and Nottingham Forest, Mohamed ElShenawy (Egypt and Al Ahly), Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool), Mohammed Kudus (Ghana and West Ham United), Sadio Mane (Senegal and Al Nassr) and South Africa’s Percy Tau who features for Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
CAF has introduced the Goalkeeper of the Year award with Mohamed ElShenawy (Egypt and Al Ahly) Yassine Bounou (Morocco & Al Hilal), Andre Onana (Cameroon and Manchester United) Ronwen Williams (South Africa and Mamelodi Sundowns) and Edouard Mendy representing Senegal and Al Ahli all named as the first nominees.
Other shot stoppers nominated are Oussama Benbot (Algeria and USM Alger), Youssef El Motie (Morocco and Wydad Athletic Club), Djigui Diarra (Mali and Young Africans), Pape Mamadou Sy (Senegal and Generation Foot) and Senegal’s Landing Badji who plays for AS Pikine.
Dango Ouattara (Burkina Faso and Bournemouth), Souleymane Alio (Burkina Faso and New Stars), Ernest Nuamah (Ghana and Olympique Lyonnais), Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Morocco and Betis), Bilal El Khannous (Morocco and Genk) and Senegalese Lamine Camara who plays for Generation Foot/Metz will battle it out for the Young Player of the year award which was scooped by Patson Daka in 2017.
The coach of the year award has Abdelhak Benchikha (USM Alger), Marcel Koller (Al Ahly), Baciro Cande (Guinea Bissau), Amir Abdou (Mauritania), Walid Regragui (Morocco), Chiquinho Conde (Mozambique) and the Senegalese duo of Aliou Cisse and Pape Thiaw who won the CHAN title with Senegal.
“A panel of CAF technical experts, African football legends and selected media representatives from a number of countries put together the preliminary list for the various categories with the performance of the nominees between November 2022 and September 2023 serving as the period under consideration,” Caf said in a statement.
The winner of each category will be decided after votes from a voting panel consisting of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals, head coaches and captains of member associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the interclub competitions.
Caf has also disclosed that the nominees for the Women’s categories will be announced in due course.