HURGHADA – The moment of truth approaches and over the next couple of hours, the finest players and officials of African football for 2019 will be revealed at the 28th edition of the Caf Football Awards, on Tuesday,at the Albatros Citadel Hotel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada, on the shores of Egypt’s Red Sea.
The event will celebrate African footballers and officials who have distinguished themselves during the year under review.
Top on the list of awards is the African Player of the Year and the African Women’s Player of the Year, the most prestigious individual honour in African football.
For the men’s category, Egyptian Mohamed Salah, winner of the past two editions, faces stiff competition from his Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Algerian forward Riyad Mahrez.
For the women’s category, South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana (last year’s winner) is up against three-time winner Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria and Cameroonian Ajara Nchout.
The ceremony will also feature new award categories in recognition of exceptional contributions to African football and inspiring individuals.
Masters of Ceremonies for the night are Egyptian broadcast journalist Mariam Amin & Cameroonian football legend Samuel Eto’o.
Eto’o who announced his retirement from professional football last September will show his presenting skills on familiar ground having been crowned CAF Player of the Year four times - 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010.
One of the most decorated footballers of all time, the Cameroonian follows in the footsteps of Ivorian Didier Drogba and Nigerian midfield Sunday Oliseh as presenters of the CAF Awards.
Polyglot Mariam is fluent in her native Arabic, English and French and hosts a social programme on Egyptian radio station, Nogoum FM, dubbed ‘El-Etifak’ meaning ‘we agree’, one of the most listened to programmes in Egypt.
“I admire Mohamed Salah and would love to meet him one day,” said avid football fan Mariam, who MCed the Official Draw for the Total Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019 last April, held at the Great Pyramids of Giza.
A galaxy of football stars past, present and future as well as former CAF Award winners and football Legends, amongst others, have been invited to the biggest gathering of African football stakeholders.
The nominees are:
African Women’s Player of the Year
Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga) Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona) Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC)
African Men's Player of the Year
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool) Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City) Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)