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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Last hurdle for Osimhen to be crowned as African soccer king

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen is on track to be named as the first African Footballer of the Year since Nwankwo Kanu was crowned in January 2000 as the winner for the 1999 edition.

Twenty three years later, the pendulum heavily swings to Osimhen’s favour. With barely five days to the ‘coronation day’, CAF has unveiled Victor Osimhen as one of the top three nominees for the lead award, the African Footballer of Year.

The two other contenders are home boy, Achraf Hakimi of Morocco who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1 as well as serial contender,  Mohamed Salah of Egypt and English Premiership side, Liverpool.

Similarly, the final three of all the other categories have been unveiled.

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The ultimate winner of each category is decided following votes from a panel consisting of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals from Member Associations, Head Coaches and Captains of Member Associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions.

The Awards Gala will take place on Monday at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco at 7pm in Nigeria and local time (18H00 GMT).

 

Full List of Nominees (in alphabetic order by Member Association):

Player of the Year (Men)

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Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool)

Achraf Hakimi (Morocco, Paris Saint-Germain)

Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli)

 

Player of the Year (Women)

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Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria, Barcelona)

Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa, Racing Louisville)

Barbara Banda (Zambia, Shanghai Shengli)

 

Interclub Player of the Year (Men)

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Fiston Mayele (DR Congo, Pyramids)

Peter Shalulile (Namibia, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Percy Tau (South Africa, Al Ahly)

 

Interclub Player of the Year (Women)

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Refilwe Tholakele (Botswana, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)

Lebohang Ramalepe (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

Coach of the Year (Men)

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Abdelhak Benchika (Algeria, Simba SC)

Walid Regragui (Morocco)

Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

 

Coach of the Year (Women)

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Reynald Pedros (Morocco)

Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

Jerry Tshabalala (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

Goalkeeper of the Year (Men)

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Andre Onana (Cameroon, Manchester United)

Mohamed El Shenawy (Egypt, Al Ahly)

Yassine Bounou (Morocco, Al Hilal)

 

Goalkeeper of the Year (Women)

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Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco, AS FAR)

Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)

Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

Young Player of the Year (Men)

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Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (Morocco, Real Betis)

Lamine Camara (Senegal, Metz)

Amara Diouf (Senegal, Metz)

 

Young Player of the Year (Women)

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Comfort Yeboah (Ghana, Ampem Darkoa)

Nesryne El Chad (Morocco, Lille)

Deborah Abiodun (Nigeria, Pittsburgh Panthers)

 

National Team of the Year (Men)

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Gambia

Morocco

Senegal

 

National Team of the Year (Women)

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Morocco

Nigeria

South Africa

 

Club of the Year (Men)

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Al Ahly (Egypt)

Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

 

Club of the Year (Women)

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AS FAR (Morocco)

Sporting Casablanca (Morocco)

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Gusau hails Nigeria’s big win at 2023 CAF Awards

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President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau was a very happy man on Monday night, as Nigeria swept important honours at this year’s CAF Football Awards held in Marrakech, Morocco.

The NFF supremo was personally present at the Hotel Movenpick and collected the first honour that came Nigeria’s way – Women’s National Team of the Year.

He dedicated the award to all women football teams on the African continent.

Chiamaka Nnadozie, who shone brightly at the FIFA World Cup finals in Down Under this year summer as the Super Falcons reached the Round of 16, was the undoubted winner of the honour of Goalkeeper of the Year (Women)

The Paris FC of France safe hands made a moving speech: “To all the young girls growing up in Africa, dreaming of becoming a footballer one day, believe me dreams do come true. My dad didn’t want me to play football but I’m sure he’s gonna see this and be happy. So, keep dreaming, keep working and I believe that one day you’ll get to this stage.”

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After Asisat Oshoala won a record-extending sixth award as Player of the Year (Women) the auditorium went silent as it was time to present the men’s version. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah were the final three.

Osimhen was crowned, becoming the first Nigeria player in 24 years to take the gong. The last person was Nwankwo Kanu, back in 1999. Kanu also won in 1996, after Rashidi Yekini in 1993 and Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994. Victor Ikpeba took the crown in 1997.

Gusau said: “I am very excited tonight. This has been hugely rewarding for our football and for our country as a whole. I congratulate Osimhen, Oshoala and Nnadozie, and I congratulate the Super Falcons as a team for bringing us this honour.

“My charge would be that they all keep doing what they know how to do best, keep improving and keep winning. The sky will be the beginning for them.”

Osimhen became the first player in the history of the African Football Awards to have been crowned Player of the Year (Men) after having pocketed the Young Player of the Year (Men) in an earlier year. Only last Monday, the 24-year-old was crowned the 2022/2023 Player of the Year in Italy’s Serie A, after having won the Young Player of the Year in the same league in the 2021/2022 season.

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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Gusau hails Nigeria’s big win at 2023 CAF Awards

Published

on

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau was a very happy man on Monday night, as Nigeria swept important honours at this year’s CAF Football Awards .

The NFF supremo was personally present at the Hotel Movenpick and collected the first honour that came Nigeria’s way – Women’s National Team of the Year<span.

He dedicated the award to all women football teams on the African continent.

Chiamaka Nnadozie, who shone brightly at the FIFA World Cup finals in Down Under this year summer as the Super Falcons reached the Round of 16, was the undoubted winner of the honour of Goalkeeper of the Year (Women).The Paris FC of France safe hands made a moving speech: “To all the young girls growing up in Africa, dreaming of becoming a footballer one day, believe me dreams do come true. My dad didn’t want me to play football but I’m sure he’s gonna see this and be happy. So, keep dreaming, keep working and I believe that one day you’ll get to this stage.”

After Asisat Oshoala won a record-extending sixth award as Player of the Year (Women)<span;>, the auditorium went silent as it was time to present the men’s version. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah were the final three.

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Osimhen was crowned, becoming the first Nigeria player in 24 years to take the gong. The last person was Nwankwo Kanu, back in 1999. Kanu also won in 1996, after Rashidi Yekini in 1993 and Emmanuel Amuneke in 1994. Victor Ikpeba took the crown in 1997.

Gusau said: “I am very excited tonight. This has been hugely rewarding for our football and for our country as a whole. I congratulate Osimhen, Oshoala and Nnadozie, and I congratulate the Super Falcons as a team for bringing us this honour.

My charge would be that they all keep doing what they know how to do best, keep improving and keep winning. The sky will be the beginning for them.”

Osimhen became the first player in the history of the African Football Awards to have been crowned Player of the Year (Men) after having pocketed the Young Player of the Year (Men) in an earlier year. Only last Monday, the 24-year-old was crowned the 2022/2023 Player of the Year in Italy’s Serie A, after having won the Young Player of the Year in the same league in the 2021/2022 season.

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AFRICA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

VIDEO: The Eagle has landed! Osimhen hits Marrakech in private Jet

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA. Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, MOROCCO

The star man of the day, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has finally landed in the Atlas Mountain city of Marrakech which is hosting the 2023 CAF Awards.

Dressed in sky blue shirts over an orange vest and blue shorts, the Napoli talismanic striker landed in a chattered private jet.

He is hoped to break the 24-year jinx that has afflicted Nigeria in the lead category of the CAF Awards. Nwankwo Kanu who was honoured on the opening match of the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations in Lagos was the last Nigerian to have won.

That award was for the 1999 edition.

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