Caf names 34 nominees for African Footballer of the Year

By Kennedy GondweBBC Sport, Lusaka
Yaya Toure

The Confederation of African Football has revealed an initial list of 34 players for its 2012 African Footballer of the Year award.

Among them is Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, who won the honour last year.

Also on the list are three players who currently represent African clubs.

Zambian duo Rainford Kalaba and Stoppila Sunzu both play for DR Congo's TP Mazembe, while Tunisia's Youssef Msakni is at Esperance.

Msakni, however, is set to leave the African Champions, having agreed to join Lekhwiya in Qatar in January 2013.

Kalaba and Sunzu have already enjoyed a successful year, as they were part of Zambia's team that lifted this year's Africa Cup trophy in Gabon.

And the duo, alongside Msakni, are the only players to appear on both shortlists for the African Footballer of the Year and the African Player of the Year.

The African Footballer of the Year award is predominantly won by players based outside Africa while the African Player of the Year prize is dedicated to players plying their trade within Africa.

"I am very happy to be nominated because it's not easy," Kalaba told BBC Sport.

Stoppila Sunzu (left)
Stoppila Sunzu (left) has had a memorable year

"There are a lot of talented players in Africa and for me to have made it to both shortlists, I am very humbled and happy.

"The chances of winning are 50/50. I can only wait for the final decision but I think everyone has a fair chance of winning."

Sunzu, scorer of the winning penalty against Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations final, is delighted that his performances have been recognised.

"It's the first time I am being nominated for such an award and I am very pleased," he said.

"This has been a very good year for me after winning the Africa Cup and I can feel it that my form has improved."

Should one of the pair win the award they will emulate the current Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya, who took the took the prize in 1988 and is the only recipient of the award from Southern Africa.

A total of 34 players are on the shortlist for the African Footballer, while 32 hopefuls are gunning for the African Player of the Year award.

CAF said in a statement that it will announce the top 10 nominees for the African Footballer of the Year and the top five nominees for African footballer of the Year (based in Africa) by late October.

The names of the respective 10 and five finalists will then be sent to national associations, head coaches and secretary generals to select the top three finalists.

The awards, which also include Coach of the Year and Club of the Year will be announced at a ceremony on 20 December in the Banquet Hall, State House in the Ghanaian capital Accra.

Nominees for African Player of the Year:

  1. Abdelaziz Barrada - Getafe (Spain) and Morocco
  2. Adel Taarabt - Queens Park Rangers (England) and Morocco
  3. Alain Sibiri Traore - Lorient (France) and Burkina Faso
  4. Alexander Song - Barcelona (Spain) and Cameroon
  5. Andre 'Dede' Ayew - Marseille (France) and Ghana
  6. Arouna Kone - Wigan (England) and Ivory Coast
  7. Aymen Abdennour - Toulouse (France) and Tunisia
  8. Bakaye Traore - AC Milan (Italy) and Mali
  9. Cheick Tiote - Newcastle United (England) and Ivory Coast
  10. Christopher Katongo - Henan Construction (China) and Zambia
  11. Demba Ba - Newcastle United (England) and Senegal
  12. Didier Drogba - Shanghai Shenhua (China) and Ivory Coast
  13. Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu - Udinese (Italy) and Ghana
  14. Emmanuel Mayuka - Southampton (England) and Zambia
  15. Foxi Kethevoama - FC Astana (Kazakhstan) and Central African Republic
  16. Gervinho - Arsenal (England) and Ivory Coast
  17. Hilaire Momi - Le Mans (France) and Central African Republic
  18. John Obi Mikel - Chelsea (England) and Nigeria
  19. John Utaka - Montpellier (France) and Nigeria
  20. Kwadwo Asamoah - Juventus (Italy) and Ghana
  21. Moussa Sow - Fenerbahce (Turkey) and Senegal
  22. Nicolas N'koulou - Marseille (France) and Cameroon
  23. Papiss Demba Cisse - Newcastle United (England) and Senegal
  24. Pape Moussa Konate - FC Krasnodar (Russia) and Senegal
  25. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - St Etienne (France) and Gabon
  26. Rainford Kalaba - TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Zambia
  27. Seydou Doumbia - CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Ivory Coast
  28. Seydou Keita - Dalian Aerbin (China) and Mali
  29. Sofiane Feghouli - Valencia (Spain) and Algeria
  30. Stoppila Sunzu - TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Zambia
  31. Victor Moses - Chelsea (England) and Nigeria
  32. Yaya Toure - Manchester City (England) and Ivory Coast
  33. Younes Belhanda - Montpellier (France) and Morocco
  34. Youssef Msakni - Esperance (Tunisia) and Tunisia

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