Friday, January 5, 2018 7:35 am
Salah (right) with the African player of the year trophy
Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah on Thursday emerged as the African Player of the Year 2017, with Super Falcons’ Asisat Oshoala being named the Women’s Player of the Year.
The 25-year old Salah and 23-year-old Oshoala won the topmost prize at the Aiteo CAF Awards Gala 2017, held at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.
Salah fended off opposition from club mate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was winner in 2015.
He became the first Egyptian to win the most prestigious individual honour in African football, after polling 625 points.
According to reports of the event on the website of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mane had 507, while Aubameyang finished a distant third with 311 points.
The feat capped a superb year for the forward who played an influential role for both club and country during the year under review.
Salah’s feat was the climax of a memorable evening for Egyptian football which saw the Pharaohs being named National Team of the Year.
Their Argentine-born coach, Hector Cuper, also emerged as the Coach of the Year.
Oshoala was adjudged Women’s Player of the Year for the third time, after winning in 2014 and 2016.
She beat Cameroonian Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Chrestina Kgatlana of South Africa to the top prize.
However, Kgatlana took consolation in Banyana Banyana being named Women’s National Team of the Year.
Patson Daka ensured Zambia was represented on the podium with the Youth Player of the Year award.
It came 10 years after compatriot Clifford Mulenga was decorated Most Promising Talent of the Year.
African club champions Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) of Morocco went home with the Club of the Year award.
Former Ghana player Ibrahim Sunday, who was a member of the Asante Kotoko squad which won the African Cup of Champion Clubs in 1970, received the CAF Legend award.
CAF Executive Committee member, Ahmed Yahya, who is president of the Mauritania Football Federation, was named Football Leader of the Year.
There were two Platinum Awards, one to Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo and the other to global football icon George Weah, now President-elect of Liberia.
The ceremony which was beamed live to millions across the world had Ghana President Akufo-Addo and Fatma Samoura, the FIFA General Secretary, amongst some of the high-profile attendees.
There were also musical performances from Togo’s Toofan, DR Congo’s Fally Ipupa, Ghanaian duo of Shatta Wale and Kidi, and Nigeria’s Patoranking, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Runtown, Olamide, Phyno and Flavour.
Below is a list of the Awards:
African Player of the Year
Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Dalian Quanjian)
Youth Player of the Year
Patson Daka (Zambia and Liefering)
Coach of the Year
Hector Cuper (Egypt)
Club of the Year
Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
CAF Legend Award
Ibrahim Sunday (Ghana)
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – President of Ghana
George Weah – President-elect of Liberia and former World, Africa and European Player of the Year
Fans’ Finest XI
Goalkeeper: Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathi (Egypt & Al Ahly), Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United), Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
Midfielders: Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club), Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord), Junior Ajayi (Nigeria & Al Ahly), Achraf Bencharki (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)
Forwards: Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)