Five Sundowns Players Nominated For Award Based In Africa
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) revealed two shortlists for major awards over the weekend, including a shortlist of 25 players who are nominated for the 2016 African Player of the Year – Based in Africa award.
A total of five players have been selected from South African club side Mamelodi Sundowns, meaning that a fifth of the nominees represent the Pretoria-based team.
The award is designed to recognise the efforts of players based at clubs in Africa during the course of the year, and their performances in local and intercontinental competitions.
The 25 nominees that have been listed represent 10 clubs from throughout the continent, with the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup clearly having an impact on the list.
The continent’s top club competition, the CAF Champions League, has reached the final stage of the tournament, with Sundowns facing Zamalek of Egypt in the final over two legs.
As a result of both teams’ progression to the title encounter, there are five Sundowns stars and three nominees representing the White Knights in the list.
With Sundowns having won the first leg of the title encounter 3-0 in Pretoria last weekend, the Brazilians, as they are commonly known, have an excellent chance of winning their first continental title when they take on the Egyptian team in Alexandria this coming Sundowns for the second leg meeting.
Other players on the shortlist come from CAF Confederation Cup finalists TP Mazembe (with four players) of the DR Congo and MO Bejaia (a single player) of Algeria.
Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club can boast four players being considered for the accolade, while Zambian club Zesco United have three soccer players in contention.
Other clubs represented on the list include Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel with two players, and the trio of Enyimba, AS Vita and Kaizer Chiefs with a single nominee each.
A team of journalists, member association representatives and CAF committee members will be involved in the voting to decide the candidate who will walk away with the prize of the continent’s best based in Africa.
The recipient of the award will be announced at the Glo-CAF 2016 Awards Gala in Abuja, Nigeria on January 5.
2016 African Player of the Year – Based in Africa shortlist
Ali Gabr (Egypt & Zamalek)
Aymen Hefny (Egypt & Zamalek)
Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)
Bassem Morsi (Egypt & Zamalek)
Chisom Chikatara (Nigeria & Wydad Athletic Club)
Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Elia Meschak (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (Congo & Wydad Athletic Club)
Hamza Lahmar (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)
Hlompho Kekana (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Idris Mbombo (DR Congo & Zesco United)
Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs)
Jackson Mwanza (Zambia & Zesco United)
Jesse Were (Kenya & Zesco United)
Joel Kimwaki (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & AS Vita)
Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Mfon Udoh (Nigeria & Enyimba)
Morgan Betorangal (Chad & MO Bejaia)
Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe)
Reda Hajhouj (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe)
William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club)
Yannick Zakri (Cote d’Ivoire & Mamelodi Sundowns)