Lagos - Although none of her players made the final cut for
the Africa Player of the Year and Africa –based Player of the Year nominations,
Nigeria made bold presence in the other categories released on Sunday.
Super Falcons’ forward Asisat Oshoala and Super Eagles’ aces
Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi were among those nominated for honours at the
Glo-Caf African Football Awards taking place in Abuja on 5th January 2017.
In a release by the Confederation of African Football,
Oshoala was listed alongside South African Janine Van Wyk, Ghanaian Elizabeth
Addo and Cameroonians Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Raissa Feudjio Tchuanyo for
the Women’s Player of the Year.
Oshoala won the award in 2014, alongside being named Youth
Player of the Year. Cameroonian Gaelle Deborah Enganamouit was named Women’s
Player of the Year 2015.
In the category of Most Promising Talent, Manchester City of
England ace Kelechi Iheanacho is listed with fellow Nigerian Oghenekaro Etebo,
Guinean Naby Keita, Elia Meshack of DR Congo and Ramadan Soby of Egypt.
Iheanacho scored in four consecutive matches for the Super
Eagles against Mali, Luxembourg, Tanzania and Zambia, and has been impressive
for his English top tier club, for whom he scored in the UEFA Champions League
last week. Etebo was the hero of Nigeria’s bronze medal feat at the Olympics in
Brazil, scoring four goals in the 5-4 thumping of Japan.
The Youth Player of the Year list was headed by Arsenal of
England star Alex Iwobi, who scored Nigeria’s first goal of the 2018 FIFA World
Cup race, away to Zambia in Ndola in October. He contests with Ghanaians Eric
Ayiah and Sandra Owusu-Ansah, Ivorian Franck Kessie and Mali U20 ace Sidiki
Also read: CAF unveils shortlist for Footballers of the Year
Florence Omagbemi, the only person to have won the Women
Africa Cup of Nations as captain and coach, contests for Coach of the Year with
DR Congo’s Florent Ibenge, Uganda Coach Milutin Sredojevic, Nacer Sandjak of
CAF Confederation Cup winners MO Bejaia and Pitso Mosimane of CAF Champions
League winners Mamelodi Sundowns.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons will battle for Women’s Team of the
Year with Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, while Nigeria’s U23 team,
bronze winners at the Olympics, will tug with DR Congo (CHAN winners), Senegal,
Guinea Bissau and Uganda (the last two for qualifying for 2017 AFCON). Guinea
Bissau are making their debut while Uganda are back among the elites of African
football after 38 years.
Sundowns, Bejaia, TP Mazembe, Zamalek and Zesco United
compete for Club of the Year, while Gambian Papa Gassama, Egyptian Ghead Grisha
and Senegalese Malang Diedhiou are in the race for Referee of the Year.
Incidentally, Gassama handled the Nigeria/Algeria 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier
in Uyo while Grisha was in charge of the first qualifying match away to Zambia
that top Nigerian stars like Dream Team’s Azubuike Okechukwu and Golden
Eaglets’ Victor Osimhen were nominated at the Glo-CAF Awards 2015.
Two Nigerian champion teams and World Cup -winning Coach
Emmanuel Amuneke were also nominated.
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- News24 Nigeria