2023 CAF player award: Osimhen faces Salah, Hakimi hurdle

Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen will slug it out with Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi for the 2023 CAF Men’s Player of the Year award.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the final three shortlist on its official website on Thursday.

2022 winner, Saido Mane did not make the final cut, after moving to the less fancied Saudi Arabia league, earlier in the year.

Osimhen is hoping to succeed the Senegalese after leading Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years last season, scoring 26 goals.

The lanky forward is also in a race against time to break the jink and become the first Nigerian since Nwankwo Kanu in 1999 to win the award.

Salah who plays for Liverpool FC in England has won the award twice in 2017 and 2018, while PSG’s Hakimi is seeking to become the first Moroccan to win the award after Mustapha Hadji in 1998.

Other Nigerians who made the final shortlist in different categories include Asisat Oshoala, Deborah Abiodun and Chiamaka Nnadozie.

Oshoala is in the running to defend her Women’s Player of the Year award as she is in the three-player shortlist with Barbara Banda of Zambia and Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa.

Nnadozie is in contention for Goalkeeper of the Year while Abiodun made the final nominee for Women’s Young Player of the Year award.

CAF had also shortlisted Nigeria for the 2023 Women’s National Team of the Year alongside Morocco and South Africa.

The ultimate winner of each category is decided following votes from a panel consisting of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals from Member Associations, Head Coaches, and Captains of Member Associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the Interclub competitions.

The winners will be announced at the CAF Awards Gala on Dec. 11 at the Palais des Congrès, Movenpick, Marrakech, Morocco.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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