Mane, Oshoala win Africa’s best play­ers awards

•Osimhen, Chuk­wueze lose Young Player’s prize

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - ’Tosin Oluwalowo

Liver­pool and Sene­gal for­ward Sa­dio Mane has won the 2019 African Player of The Year award, de­feat­ing club mate and Egypt’s Mo­hamed Salah (last year’s win­ner) and Manch­ester City and Al­ge­ria’s Riyad Mahrez. The event was held at the Al­ba­tros Ci­tadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, Egypt, on Tues­day. Mane had an event­ful 2019 with Liver­pool, win­ning the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League and com­ing sec­ond be­hind City in the English Premier League. He was also part of the Sene­galese team which lost the fi­nal of the 2019 Africa Cup of the Na­tions in Egypt 1-0 to Al­ge­ria.

He placed fourth in the 2019 Bal­lon d’or be­hind Lion­nel Messi, Vir­gil van Dijk and Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

Nige­ria’s Vic­tor Osimhen and Sa­muel Chuk­wueze lost the Youth Player of the Year award to Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi.

Su­per Fal­cons cap­tain Asisat Oshoala, how­ever re­deemed Nige­ria’s im­age, win­ning the Women’s Player of The Year award for a record fourth time, equalling com­pa­triot Per­petua Nk­wocha’s record.

She over­came strong com­pe­ti­tion from Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout and South Africa’s Thembi Kgat­lana to win the award.

Oshoala had ear­lier claimed the award in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Other award win­ners are Al­ge­ria’s AF­CON win­ning coach Djamel Bel­madi, who was crowned Men’s African Coach of the Year, South Africa’s women’s na­tional team coach Dis­eree El­lis, who won the Women’s African Coach of the Year and Youcef Be­laili, who was named the African In­ter-clubs Player of the Year award.

Al­ge­ria were named the African Men’s Team of The Year, while Cameroon won the Women’s Na­tional Team of The Year award. Mahrez’s in­jury time win­ner against Nige­ria in the semi-fi­nal of the 2019 AF­CON was ad­judged the best goal in the con­ti­nent in 2019.

2019 AF­CON hosts Egypt were named win­ners of the Fed­er­a­tion of The Year award, while TP Mazembe’s Moise Ka­tumbi won the African Club Pres­i­dent of the Year award.

The FIF­PRO Africa Best 11 are An­dre Onana (Cameroon), Hakimi, Kalilou Koulibaly (Sene­gal), Joel Matip (Cameroon), Sergie Aurier (Ivory Coast), Mahrez, Idrissa Gu­eye (Sene­gal), Hakim Ziyech (Morocco), Salah, Mane and Pierre-em­er­ick Aubameyang (Gabon).

For­mer Togo goal­keeper Kod­jovi Obi­lale was given a spe­cial award. His ca­reer ended af­ter he was se­verely in­jured in a bus at­tack against the To­golese team in the Cabinda Prov­ince, An­gola, just days be­fore the start of the 2010 Africa Cup of Na­tions.

•Sene­gal’s Sa­dio Mane af­ter win­ning the 2019 CAF Player of The Year award. Photo: CAF

•Men’s Coach of The Year win­ner, Al­ge­ria’s Djamel Bel­madi (above, right) and women’s coach win­ner, Dis­eree El­lis of South Africa (be­low, right). Pho­tos: AFP

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