NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15- Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama and striker Jesse Were have been nominated for this year’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) annual awards.
Wanyama, who turns out for English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, has been nominated in the player of the year category while Were who plies his trade with Zambian champions Zesco United has been nominated in the African player of the year based in Africa.
Wanyama, who moved to Spurs at the beginning of the season from Southampton FC has been influential for both clubs as well as the national team. He has started all seven of Spurs’ league matches this season, playing a vital role in the side’s unbeaten start to the campaign.
Though Were has not shone for the national team, he has been influential for his club Zesco especially in their run in for the Champions League where they were eliminated in the semi-finals by South African side Mamelodi Sundowns.
In his category, Wanyama will fight it off with the reigning player of the year, Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who turns out for Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
The 27-year old forward has been in good form in Germany and has scored eight goals in as many appearances for his Bundesliga side.
Other front runners for the award include Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, voted as last season’s PFA player of the year in the English Premier League having helped Leicester to a surprise EPL title. His new team mate Islam Silimani has also been nominated.
Manchester United’s new defensive sensation Eric Baily has also been nominated for the award alongside Arsenal and Egypt midfielder Mohamed ElNeny.
In Were’s category, he has been nominated alongside team mates Idriss Mbombo and Jackson Mwanza.
Uganda Cranes shot stopper Dennis Onyango has been nominated for the award as well alongside team mates Khama Billiat who has been in immense scoring form to the ‘Brazillians’, Keegan Dolly, Hlompho Kekana, and Ivorian Yannick Zakri.
TP Mazembe’s Joel Kimwaki who led DR Congo’s team to the African Nations Championship (CHAN) title has also earned a nomination alongside team mate Joyce Lomalisa.
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.
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.