Liver­pool’s Mane named African Player of the Year

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Hurghada, Egypt - Liver­pool star Sadio Mane was crowned on Tues­day as Africa's 2019 Player of the Year for the first time at an awards gala in Egypt.

The 27 year old Sene­galese striker was up against his Liver­pool team­mate Mo­hamed Salah, the Egyp­tian who won the award the last two years, and Al­ge­rian Riyad Mahrez of Manch­ester City.

"I am re­ally happy and at the same time I am re­ally proud to win this award," said Mane at the cer­e­mony or­gan­ised by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (CAF) in the Egyp­tian Red Sea city of Hurghada. "It's a big day for me."

Mane be­came the sec­ond star from Sene­gal to be named African Player of the Year af­ter El Hadji Diouf, who was the con­ti­nent's best player in 2001 and 2002. He scored 34 goals and pro­duced 12 as­sists in 61 ap­pear­ances in 2019, ac­cord­ing to CAF sta­tis­tics.

Salah's tally stood at 26 goals and 10 as­sists in 55 matches while Mahrez ac­counted for 14 goals and 18 as­sists in 48 games last year. The key Sene­galese player shared the 2018-19 English Pre­mier League Golden Boot award with Salah and Ar­se­nal's Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang from Gabon.

"I would love to thank all the Sene­galese peo­ple. They have been for me all the time, they push me," said Mane, ex­tend­ing sin­cere grat­i­tude to peo­ple from his vil­lage Bam­bali.

Africa’s best in 2019

player Juan Se­bas­tian Veron and Brazil's Cafu at­tended Tues­day's event.

Some of Africa's for­mer star play­ers in­clud­ing Sene­gal's Diouf, Egypt's Ahmed Has­san and Al­ge­ria's Rabah Mad­jer were also at the cer­e­mony.

Nei­ther Salah nor Mahrez, who was play­ing for Manch­ester City, were present on Tues­day. Mane, Salah and Mahrez played for their re­spec­tive coun­tries in the 2019 Africa Cup of Na­tions. Al­ge­ria claimed the ti­tle fol­low­ing a 1-0 vic­tory over Sene­gal in Cairo.

At the cer­e­mony, other men’s awards went to Al­ge­rian coach Djamel Bel­madi, Al­ge­rian Youcef Be­laili for African In­ter­clubs Player of the Year and Al­ge­ria's na­tional team. The award for the youth cat­e­gory was given to Morocco's Achraf Hakimi of Borus­sia Dort­mund. Fe­male awardees in­cluded Nige­rian Asisat Oshoala, who won the African Women's Player of the Year prize for the fourth time.

South African na­tional team boss De­siree El­lis was also voted top coach for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year. Cameroon's women's team was se­lected as the con­ti­nent's best af­ter reach­ing the last-16 of the World Cup.

The Egyp­tian Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion also won the Fed­er­a­tion of the Year award.

FIFA pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino as well as for­mer Ar­gen­tinian

Lon­don, UK - The Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (FA) says it will re­view the bet­ting el­e­ment of FA Cup broad­cast rights re­lated to ties be­ing viewed on a gam­bling web­site.

Book­maker Bet365 showed 23 third-round matches last week­end as part of its deal with the FA, which was signed in Jan­uary 2017.

The matches were only avail­able to watch if the cus­tomer had placed a bet or de­posited an ac­count with US$6.5 in the 24 hours be­fore kick-off.

The FA an­nounced in July 2017 that it had cut all ties with gam­bling firms, end­ing a deal with Lad­brokes, and has sug­gested it will re­view fu­ture broad­cast rights.

"We will re­view this el­e­ment of the me­dia rights sales process ahead of ten­der­ing rights to the new cy­cle from the 2024-25 sea­son on­wards," said an FA spokesman.

"Leagues and clubs con­tinue to gov­ern their own re­la­tion­ships with gam­bling com­pa­nies.

"The FA agreed a me­dia rights deal with IMG in early 2017, part of which per­mits them to sell the right to show live footage or clips of FA Cup matches to book­mak­ers. Bet365 ac­quired these rights from IMG to use from the start of the 2018-19 sea­son.

"This deal was agreed be­fore we made a clear de­ci­sion on the FA's re­la­tion­ship with gam­bling com­pa­nies in June 2017 when we ended our part­ner­ship with Lad­brokes."

All third-round matches last week­end were de­layed by one minute to pub­li­cise the FA's Heads Up men­tal health cam­paign, backed by FA Pres­i­dent Prince Wil­liam. The Prince has no over­sight or in­volve­ment in the com­mer­cial as­pects of the FA.

In a state­ment to Britain's Press As­so­ci­a­tion, Dun­can Sel­bie, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Pub­lic Health Eng­land (PHE), said: "PHE is cur­rently re­view­ing the ev­i­dence about the health harms of gam­bling, which we be­lieve are wide-rang­ing.

"Our re­port will pro­vide sports gov­ern­ing bod­ies a fresh op­por­tu­nity to re­view their re­la­tion­ships with gam­bling."

Sadio Mane

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