Wanyama and Were nominated for top CAF Awards

By alex wafula
Oct 16, 2021
  • Victor Wanyama who has been in top form has been shortlisted for CAF Player-of-the Year awards. (SNA File Photo)

The Kenyan duo of Victor Wanyama and Jesse Jackson Were has been nominated for two different CAF awards.

Wanyama, who skippers the national team has been nominated for the fourth year running for the CAF Player of the year award while Were who turns out for Zambian club Zesco United has been drafted for the CAF player of the year based in Africa.

The shortlist was released on Saturday afternoon by CAF and both lists are expected to be whittled down to five by a panel of Members of the CAF Media and Technical Committee as well a panel of 20 experts made up of journalists and TV consultants by October 31.

The top five will then be subjected to another process of voting, this time including coaches of all national teams who will come up with a final list of three by November 30.

While Wanyama has been in immense form since his move to England with Southampton, Jesse Were is making his first ever appearance on a CAF shortlist.

The striker who has however failed to glitter with the national team has been exceptional with Zesco. Since moving to the club in January from Tusker FC, Were has netted 11 goals thus in the league and four in the Champions League where Zesco went all the way to the semi-finals.

He has been nominated alongside teammates Idriss Mbombo and Jackson Mwanza who played a crucial role in Zesco’s Champions League journey.

Onyango played crucial role

Also nominated in the award is Ugandan goalkeeper Dennis Onyango. Onyango has played a crucial role at club level with Sundowns, steering them to the final of the Champions League where on Saturday he kept a clean sheet as they beat Zamalek 3-0 in the first leg.

He has also been the backbone of the Uganda Cranes Squad that qualified to the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 39 years. Team mates Khama Billiat, Keegan Dolly, Hlompho Kekana, and Ivorian Yannick Zakri have also been shortlisted for the award.

Other names in the shortlist include DR Congo’s Meshack Ellia who mesmerized during the February African Nations Championship (CHAN). Other members of the squad who have been nominated are skipper Joel Kimwaki and left back Joyce Lomalisa.

In the CAF player of the year category, Wanyama will hope for a top five slot that has a strong field including holder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Gabon.

England’s reigning PFA player of the year Riyad Mahrez is seen as the strong favorite to unseat Aubameyang. Team mate Islam Silimani also makes the cut alsongside the Egypt duo of Mohammed Salah and Mohammed ElNeny.

Elsewhere, Harambee Stars is scheduled to play a friendly match against Liberia on November 12 in Nairobi while a squad of local based players is expected to play against Cameroon on November 29, also in Nairobi.

“We haven’t finalized yet on the Cameroon friendly but we are working on it. Liberia are coming here and I feel this is the right way to go. We have seen the team beat Congo very recently away and with more investment, we can have better results,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa told Sports News Arena.

African Player of the Year nominees

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City), El Arabi Hillel Soudani (Algeria & Dinamo Zagreb), Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon & Antalyaspor), Benjamin Mounkandjo (Cameroon & Lorient), Serge Aurier (Cote d’Ivoire & PSG), Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester City), Yao Kouasi Gervais ‘Gervinho’ (Cote d’Ivoire & Hebei Fortune), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Mohamed El Neny (Egypt & Arsenal), Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Dortmund), Andre Ayew (Ghana & West Ham), Victor Wanyama (Kenya & Tottenham), William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax), John Mikel Obi (Nigeria & Chelsea), Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City), Ahmed Musa (Nigeria & Leicester City), Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal), Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo & Everton), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli), Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns), Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs), Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk), Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia & Valencia), Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia & Sunderland), Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns), Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundown.

African Player of the Year Based in Africa nominees

Dennis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns), Itumeleng Khune (South Africa & Kaizer Chiefs), Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel), Joel Kimwaki (DR Congo & TP Mazembe), Joyce Lomalisa (DR Congo & AS Vita), Salif Coulibaly (Mali & TP Mazembe), Ali Gabr (Egypt & Zamalek), Keegan Dolly (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns), Jackson Mwanza (Zambia & Zesco United), Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe), Elia Meschak (DR Congo & TP Mazembe), Aymen Hefny (Egypt & Zamalek), Morgan Betorangal (Chad & MO Bejaia), Hlompho Kekana (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns), Hamza Lahmar (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel), Jesse Were (Kenya & Zesco United), Idris Mbombo (DR Congo & Zesco United), Chisom Chikatara (Nigeria & Wydad Athletic Club), William Jebor (Liberia & Wydad Athletic Club), Reda Hajhouj (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club), Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (Congo & Wydad Athletic Club), Mfon Udon (Nigeria & Enyimba), Bassem Morsi (Egypt & Zamalek), Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns), Yannick Zakri (Cote d’Ivoire & Mamelodi Sundowns.