JOHANNESBURG, December 27 – Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure moved closer to a record fourth consecutive African Footballer of the Year title on Friday when he was included in a three-man shortlist.
Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama are the other contenders for the most prestigious African football individual award.
Toure plays for reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City, Aubameyang for German club Borussia Dortmund and Enyeama for French outfit Lille.
The votes of the 56 national coaches in Africa decide the winner, who will be announced on January 8 in Lagos.
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o has won the award four times, but only three of his successes came in consecutive years.
The Africa-based Footballer of the Year award rests between Entente Setif of Algeria team-mates El-Hedi Belameiri and Akram Djahnit and Firmin Mubele from Democratic Republic of Congo side V Club.
Setif and V Club are among the club award contenders after reaching the CAF Champions League final, which the Algerians won on away goals.
African annual football awards contenders
Footballer of the Year: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB), Vincent Enyeama (NGR), Yaya Toure (CIV)
Africa-based Footballer of the Year: El-Hedi Belameiri, Akram Djahnit (both Setif/ALG), Firmin Mubele (V Club/COD)
Female footballer: Annette Ndom (CMR), Desire Oparanozie, Asisat Oshoala (both NGR)
Best male/female youth: Fabrice Ondoa (CMR), Asisat Oshoala, Uchechi Sunday (both NGR)
Most promising: Vincent Aboubakar, Clinton N’jie (both CMR), Yacine Brahimi (ALG)
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic (ALG), Florent Ibenge (V Club and COD), Kheireddine Madoui (Setif)
National team: Algeria, Libya, Nigeria
Female national team: Cameroon, Nigeria, Nigeria U.20
Club: Al-Ahly (EGY), Setif (ALG), V Club (COD)