CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Sadio Mane heads a list of 10 nominees for the African Footballer of the Year award, to be handed out later this month for the first time in three years, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Monday.
Mane, who won the last award in 2019, will be favoured to win again after a season in which he helped Senegal to their first Africa Cup of Nations title plus qualification to the World Cup in Qatar.
He also had cup success with Liverpool at club level but has since moved to Bayern Munich.
His former team mates Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah are also among the 10 nominees, along with Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.
Salah won the award in 2017 and 2018 and Mahrez in 2016.
The COVID-19 pandemic and decision to switch the qualification period from the calendar year to the 2021-22 season is the reason why there has been no award for the last three years, CAF officials told Reuters.
The winner will be decided by a judging panel made up of members of CAF’s technical committee, press and coaches and captains of Africa’s 54 national teams and will be announced at a gala in Rabat, Morocco on July 21.
Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast), Naby Keita (Guinea), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy (both Senegal), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon).
(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge)