By Nurudeen Obalola: Nigeria stars Victor Moses and William Troost-Ekong have been included in a 30-man shortlist for the African Player of the Year award for 2017.
The nominations for the awards, which will now be sponsored by Nigerian energy company Aiteo Group, were announced on Wednesday on the official website of the Confederation of African Football.
Both players helped the Super Eagles qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup with a game to spare despite their team being drawn in the toughest African qualifying group with Cameroon, Algeria and Zambia.
Moses also won the 2016/2017 English Premier League title with Chelsea after playing a key role, while centre-back Troost-Ekong has started the new season in fine form with Turkish club Bursaspor.
Other nominees for the award include Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Borussia Dortmund, Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Eric Bailly of Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester United.
CAF also named 30 nominees for the African Player of the Year Based In Africa prize with Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi, who has been an important player for CAF Champions League finalists Al Alhy of Egypt included.
CAF announced that the winners will be decided by votes from the head coaches/Technical Directors of African FAs, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts.
The Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, 4 January 2018 in Accra, Ghana.
African Player of the Year
1. Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
2. Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso & Lyon)
3. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)
4. Christian Atsu (Ghana & Newcastle)
5. Christian Bassogog (Cameroon & Henan Jianye)
6. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)
8. Essam El Hadary (Egypt & Al Taawoun)
9. Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon & Sevilla)
10. Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)
11. Jean Michel Seri (Cote d’Ivoire & Nice)
12. Junior Kabananga (DR Congo & Astana)
13. Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord)
14. Keita Balde (Senegal & Monaco)
15. Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor)
16. Mbwana Samata (Tanzania & Genk)
17. Michael Olunga (Kenya & Girona)
18. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
19. Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)
20. Naby Keita (Guinea & RB Leipzig)
21. Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
22. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund)
23. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
24. Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid)
25. Victor Moses (Nigeria & Chelsea)
26. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon & Porto)
27. William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria & Bursaspor)
28. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto)
29. Youssef Msakni (Tunisia & Al Duhail)
30. Yves Bissouma (Mali & Lille)
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa
1. Achraf Bencharki (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
2. Ahmed Fathi (Egypt & Al Ahly)
3. Alkhaly Bangoura (Guinea & Etoile du Sahel)
4. Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
5. Aristide Bance (Burkina Faso & Al Masry)
6. Ayman Majid (Morocco & FUS Rabat)
7. Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)
8. Ben Malango (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
9. Dean Furman (South Africa & Supersport United)
10. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
11. Elsamani Saadeldin (Sudan & Al Merreikh)
12. Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)
13. Fawzi Chaouchi (Algeria & MC Alger)
14. Geoffrey Serunkuma (Uganda & KCCA)
15. Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand & Supersport)
16. Junior Ajayi (Nigeria & Al Ahly)
17. Karim Aouadhi (Tunisia & CS Sfaxien)
18. Mohamed Meftah (Algeria & USM Alger)
19. Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
20. Muaid Ellafi (Libya & Ahly Tripoli)
21. Nasr Eldin Ahmed (Sudan & Hilal Obeid)
22. Oussama Darfalou (Algeria & USM Alger)
23. Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
24. Sabelo Ndzinisa (Swaziland & Mbabane Swallows)
25. Saber Khalifa (Tunisia & Club Africain)
26. Saladin Said (Ethiopia & Saint George)
27. Sylvain Gbohouo (Cote d’Ivoire & TP Mazembe)
28. Tady Etekiama (DR Congo & AS Vita)
29. Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
30. Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)
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