THE Confederation of African Football has revealed its 30-man shortlists for the African Player of the Year and Africa-Based Player of the Year.
Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who won in 2015, features along with a host of Europe-based stars, such as Sadio Mane of Senegal who came third in 2016.
2016 winner Riyad Mahrez of Algeria is a notable absentee from the main list. Nigeria has Victor Moses who plays for Chelsea, Turkey-based Troost-Ekong and Junior Ajayi, of Egyptian side, Al Alhy as the only nominees for the African Footballer of the Year Award and African Player of the Year Based in Africa award respectively.
All but seven of the nominees play for European clubs, with Egypt’s Essam El Hadary on the list at the age of 44.
The veteran goalkeeper plays his club football in Saudi Arabia for Al-Taawoun.
Mahrez, meanwhile, has largely failed to produce the quality of football that he displayed last year when playing a key role in driving Leicester to the Premier League’s most unlikely title triumph.
Four players make both the best Africa Player and best Africa-Based Player shortlists.
They are Tunisia’s Ali Maaloul (Al Ahly), South Africa’s Percy Tau, Uganda goalkeeper Dennis Onyango (both Mamelodi Sundowns) and Zambia’s Fackson Kapumbu (Zesco United).
The respective winners will be announced in the Ghanaian capital Accra on 4 January 2018.
Votes from a combination of head coaches and technical directors from national teams, as well as members of Caf’s Technical and Development Committee and a panel of media experts will determine the winners.