Despite being ruled out of contention for the biggest prize on offer, there will still be a lot to look out for Nigeria in the CAF awards.
Top Nigerian stars like Dream Team’s Azubuike Okechukwu and Golden Eaglets’ Victor Osimhen are set to be honoured at the Glo-CAF Awards billed for Abuja on Thursday.
Two Nigerian champion teams and World Cup -winning Coach Emmanuel Amuneke are also in line to be honoured at the African Football Awards.
The African version of the Ballon d’or is an annual showpiece, which rewards African football players from across the world who had excelled in the preceding year.
Nigeria’s U-23 team, that won the 2nd Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal last month, and qualified for this year’s Olympics football tournament in Rio de Janeiro, is nominated in the category of ‘National Team of the Year,’ alongside Nigeria’s U-17 squad that successfully retained the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile in November.
Azubuike Okechukwu, who captained the Nigeria U-23 to glory in Senegal and was selected the Most Valuable Player, is nominated for ‘Most Promising Talent’ alongside team-mate Etebo Oghenekaro, who finished the tournament as top scorer.
Golden Eaglets Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, is listed for ‘Coach of the Year,’ while his players, Kelechi Nwakali and Victor Osimhen are nominated for ‘Youth Player of the Year.’
Eaglets captain Nwakali was named the Most Valuable Player of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with Osimhen the top scorer of all time with 10 goals.
Super Falcons defender Ngozi Ebere is nominated for ‘Women Player of the Year.’
Before now, the top three contenders for the 2015 African Player of the Year were revealed.
They are: Andre Ayew (Ghana/ Swansea City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon/ Borussia Dortmund) and Yaya Toure (Cote d”Ivoire/ Manchester City).
The winners will be announced at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala scheduled for Thursday, January 7, 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Below are the nominees for the various categories in alphabetical order:
African Player of the Year
Andre Ayew (Ghana/ Swansea City)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon/ Borussia Dortmund)
Yaya Toure (Cote d”Ivoire/ Manchester City).
Women Player of the Year
Gabrielle Onguéné, Cameroon
· Gaelle Enganamouit, Cameroon
· Ngozi Ebere, Nigeria
· N’rehy Tia Ines, Cote d’Ivoire
· Portia Boakye, Ghana
Youth Player of the Year
· Adama Traore, Mali
· Kelechi Nwakali, Nigeria
· Samuel Diarra, Mali
· Victor Osimhen, Nigeria
· Yaw Yeboah, Ghana
Most Promising Talent
· Azubuike Okechukwu, Nigeria
· Etebo Oghenekaro, Nigeria
· Djigui Diarra, Mali
· Mahmoud Abdelmonem ‘kahraba’, Egypt
· Zinedine Ferhat, Algeria
Coach of the Year
· Baye Ba, Mali, U17
· Emmanuel Amunike, Nigeria U17
· Fawzi Benzarti, Etoile Sportive de Sahel
· Hervé Renard, Cote d’ivore
· Patrice Carteron, TP Mazembe
Referee of the Year
· Alioum Neant, Cameroon
· Bakary Papa GASSAMA, Gambia
· Eric Arnaud OTOGO CASTANE, Gabon
· Ghead Zaglol GRISHA, Egypt
· Janny SIKAZWE, Zambia
· Charles Kumi Gyamfi, Ghana
· Samuel Mbappé Léppé, Cameroon
National Team of the Year
· Cote d’Ivoire
· Mali U17
· Nigeria U17
· Nigeria U-23
Women National Team of the Year
· South Africa
Club of the Year
· USM Algiers , Algeria
· TP Mazembe, DR Congo
· Orlando Pirates, South Africa
· Etoile Sportive du Sahel, Tunisia