Mahrez favourite for African award

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

THE out-of-favour Manch­ester City mid­fielder will not win a record fifth African Foot­baller of the Year award in 2016, but sev­eral other Premier League stars are in the run­ning

Riyad Mahrez and Eric Bailly are among sev­eral Premier League stars in the run­ning for the African Player of the Year award, but four-time win­ner Yaya Toure has not been short­listed.

An­dre Ayew, Is­lam Sli­mani, Mo­hamed El­neny, Vic­tor Wanyama, John Obi Mikel, Kelechi Iheana­cho, Ahmed Musa, Yan­nick Bo­lasie, Sa­dio Mane and Wahbi Khazri are also up for the gong from English clubs.

Borus­sia Dort­mund striker Aubameyang won the ac­co­lade, con­ferred by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (CAF), for 2015 af­ter a scorch­ing start to the pre­vi­ous sea­son for the Bundesliga club.

The Gabon in­ter­na­tional beat off com­pe­ti­tion from Ayew and Toure, who made head­lines with his bit­ter re­ac­tion.

Toure had cap­tained Ivory Coast to vic­tory in the 2015 Africa Cup of Na­tions and, upon be­ing over­looked, branded the de­ci­sion to hon­our Aubameyang as “pa­thetic”.

Hav­ing been frozen out at Manch­ester City since the ar­rival of Pep Guardi­ola, the 33-year-old has not made the 30-man short­list for the next edi­tion of the con­ti­nen­tal award, deny­ing him the chance of win­ning for a record fifth time.

Sa­muel Eto’o has been in­cluded and will be aiming to achieve that feat him­self, while other no­table names in­clude Serge Aurier, Gerv­inho, Medhi Be­na­tia and Kali­dou Koulibaly. —

A boy goes against the grain at a soc­cer prac­tice in Ar­gentina by wear­ing a Cris­tiano Ron­aldo jersey while his team­mates donned that of lo­cal hero Lionel Messi. — AFP

Riyad Mahrez

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