By Andah John
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have shortlisted five players for the 2016 African Player of the Year Award, with no Nigerian making the cut.
Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho, John Obi Mikel, and Ahmed Musa were among the 30 players earlier shortlisted for the prestigious award by CAF.
No recognition in 17 years
But none made the final shortlist of an award no Nigerian has won since 1999, when Nwankwo Kanu was named the winner after a glorious season with Premier League side Arsenal.
Meanwhile, reigning player of the year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made the top-five shortlist alongside Leicester City and Algeria winger, Riyad Mahrez.
Others are Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, and another Algerian and Leicester City forward, Islam Slimani.
Those behind the list
The top five was decided by votes from the members of the CAF Media Committee, CAF Technical & Development Committee and half of the 20-member Panel of Experts (10 persons).
How the winner will emerge
Votes from the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the 54 National Associations affiliated to CAF plus Associate Members will be used.
Also, Reunion Island and Zanzibar, together with the other half of the 20-member Panel of Experts (10 persons) will be counted towards the determination of the eventual winners, CAF said.
The 2016 CAF Awards Gala will hold on 5 January, 2017, in Abuja, Nigeria.
For the African Player of the Year, they are:
1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borrusia Dortmund)
2. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
3. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
4. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)
5. Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)
For the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa), the top five are:
1. Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns & Zimbabwe)
2. Keegan Dolly (Mamelodi Sundowns & South Africa)
3. Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe & Zambia)
4. Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns & South Africa)
5. Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns & Uganda)