Nigeria on Sunday made up for what it could not secure in the final cut for the Africa Player of the Year and Africa-based Player of the Year nominations. Nigeria got seven nominations in the 13 other categories released by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the Glo-CAF African Football Awards 2016. The awards ceremony will take place in Abuja on Jan. 5. Super Falcons’ forward Asisat Oshoala and Super Eagles’ strikers Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi were among those nominated for honours at the awards. Oshoala was listed alongside South African Janine Van Wyk, Ghanaian Elizabeth Addo and Cameroonians Gabrielle Onguene and Raissa Tchuanyo for the Women’s Player of the Year award. Oshoala won the award in 2014, alongside being named Youth Player of the Year then. Cameroonian Gaelle Enganamouit was named Women’s Player of the Year 2015.
In the category of Most Promising Talent award, Manchester City’s 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 clubside. He scored for the former English league champions in the UEFA Champions League last week. Etebo was the hero of Nigeria’s bronze medal feat at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, scoring four goals in the 5-4 thumping of Japan. The Youth Player of the Year award list was headed by Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi. He scored Nigeria’s first goal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, away to Zambia in Ndola in October. Iwobi has to contest with Ghanaians Eric Ayiah and Sandra Owusu-Ansah, Ivorian Franck Kessie and Mali under-20 player Sidiki Maiga. Florence Omagbemi, the only person to have won the Women Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) as captain and coach, contests for the Coach of the Year award. She has to contend with DR Congo’s Florent Ibenge and Uganda’s coach Milutin Sredojevic. Other contenders with her are 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 award with Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Nigeria’s under-23 male team, who were bronze medal winners at the Rio Olympics, will slug it out with four others for the Men’s Team of the Year award. The others include DR Congo who won the 2016 CHAN winners. Also contending for this award with the Nigerian team is Senegal, as well as Guinea Bissau and Uganda who were nominated 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 are competing for the Club of the Year award. Gambian Papa Gassama, Egyptian Ghead Grisha and Senegalese Malang Diedhiou are in the race for Referee of the Year award. 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 in Ndola. The categories include Women’s Player of the Year, National Team of the Year, Club of the Year, Coach of the Year, Women’s National Team of the Year and Youth Player of the Year. The rest are Most Promising Talent, Referee of the Year, Football Leader of the Year, Fair Play Award, African Legend, Platinum Award and Africa Finest XI. The winners will be decided by votes from the CAF Technical & Development, Media Committees and a panel of 20 experts, made up of journalists and television consultants. The Fair Play, Legend and Platinum awards are however not subject to vote, while there will be no votes for the Youth National Team of the Year for this year. Meanwhile, the Referee of the Year will be voted only by the CAF Referees Committee. The winners will be announced at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala on Jan. 5. Source: Vanguard.