By Uche Amunike
The duo of Moses Simon and Akinkunmi Amoo of the Super Eagles of Nigeria have failed to make the final list of nominees for the men’s category of the 2022 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards, which was released, Monday.
On June 30, when the first list was released, both France-based Simon, who plays for FC Nantes and Amoo, of Danish side FC Copenhagen were impressively the only Nigerians whose names were on it. This was why their fans were thrown into shock when their names were excluded from the final list that was released on Monday, proving that they were not part of the elite African performers in the last few months who were picked as the best.
In the first list, Amoo was listed for Young Player of the Year, while Simon was pencilled for Player of the Year Award.
According to the CAF website, the star-studded final list of nominees for the men’s categories, fielded names like the former winner, Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Manchester City), African Player of the Year, Sadio Mane (Senegal and Bayern Munich), Mohammed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool), with some others.
One of the most contested categories is that off the CAF Coach of the Year. The lucky coaches that made it to the final list are Aliou Cisse, Pitso Mosimane, Carlos Queiroz, Tom Saintfiet and Walid Regragui.
Ten nominees qualified for The Player of the Year and Interclub Player of the Year, with ten nominees each, while the Coach of the Year, Club of the Year and National Team of the Year had five nominees each.
A voting panel made up of CAF Technical Committee, Head Coaches, Captains of member associations and clubs involved at the group stage of the interclub competitions for the 2021/2022 season and media professionals will decide the winner of each category.
The full list of nominees for the 2022 CAF Awards compiled in alphabetical order by Member Association, Player of the Year (Men) includes Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Manchester City), Karl Toko Ekambi (Cameroon and Olympique Lyonnais) and Vincent Aboubacar (Cameroon and Al Nassr).
This is followed by Sebastien Haller (Cote D’Ivoire and Ajax), Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool), Naby Keita (Guinea and Liverpool), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco and Paris Saint-Germain), Edouard Mendy (Senegal and Chelsea), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal and Napoli). Sadio Mane (Senegal and Bayern Munich) completed the list.
The category of Interclub Player of the Year has the following nominees: Tiago Azulao (Petro Atletico), Karim Konate (ASEC Mimosas), Aliou Dieng (Al Ahly), Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), Percy Tau (Al Ahly), Mohamed Sherif (Al Ahly), Mohamed El Shenawy (Al Ahly) and Achraf Dari (Wydad Athletic Club).
As for the Young Player of the Year (Men), the lucky finalists are Dango Ouattara (Burkina Faso and Lorient), Karim Konate (Cote D’Ivoire and ASEC/RB Salzburg),Kamaldeen Sulemana (Ghana and Rennes), Pape Matar Sarr (Senegal and Metz).
Meanwhile, the final list of women’s categories will be announced in due course.