CAF Nominates Osimhen, Ndidi, Ighalo For 2019 Mens Footballer Awards


The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has nominated Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Wilfred Ndidi for the 2019 CAF Men Footballer of the Year.

The three players were shortlisted alongside Mohammed Salah of Egypt and 26 others.

The 28th edition of the annual football awards will hold on January 7, 2020, in Egypt.

READ ALSO: Enugu Rangers Protest CAF Cup Afternoon Kick-Off

In the women’s category, Asisat Oshoala is shortlisted alongside Uchenna Kanu, Chiamaka Nnadozie and seven others.

Samuel Chukwueze and Osimhen also made the list of Youth Player of the Year category, fighting it out with 14 others including Moussa Ndiaye of Senegal.

The list of nominees is compiled by a panel of media and technical professionals.

See the full list of nominees for CAF Awards 2019 below:

African Player of the Year

  • Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
  • André Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)
  • Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria& Al-Sadd)
  • Carolus Andriamatsinoro (Madagascar & Al Adalah)
  • Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon & Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Ferjani Sassi(Tunisia & Zamalek)
  • Hakim Ziyech (Morocco & Ajax)
  • Idrissa Gueye (Senegal & Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Ismail Bennacer (Algeria & AC Milan)
  • Jordan Ayew (Ghana & Crystal Palace)
  • Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal & Napoli)
  • Kodjo Fo Doh Laba (Togo & Al Ain)
  • Mahmoud Hassan”Trezeguet” (Egypt & Aston Villa)
  • Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania & Genk)
  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)
  • Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)
  • Naby Keita (Guinea & Liverpool)
  • Nicolas Pepe (Côte d’Ivoire & Arsenal)
  • Odion Ighalo (Nigeria & Shanghai Shenhua)
  • Percy Tau (South Africa & Club Brugge)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)
  • Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)
  • Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
  • Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
  • Thomas Teye Partey (Ghana & Atlético Madrid)
  • Victor Osimhen (Nigeria & Lille)
  • Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria & Leicester City)
  • Wilfried Zaha (Côte d’Ivoire & Crystal Palace)
  • Youcef Belaili (Algeria & Ahli Jeddah)

African Women’s Player of the Year

  • Ajara Nchout (Cameroon & Valerenga )
  • Ange N’Guessan (Côte d’Ivoire & Tenerife)
  • Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Barcelona)
  • Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria & Rivers Angels)
  • Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Jiangsu Suning)
  • Gabrielle Ouguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moscow)
  • Refiloe Jane (South Africa & AC Milan)
  • Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi & Jiangsu Suning)
  • Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Beijing Phoenix FC)
  • Uchenna Kanu (Nigeria & Southeastern Fire)

African Interclubs Player of the Year

  • Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)
  • Anice Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)
  • Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Emmanuel Okwi (Uganda & Simba)
  • Ferjani Sassi (Tunisia & Zamalek)
  • Fousseny Coulibaly (Cote d’Ivoire & Esperance)
  • Franck Kom (Cameroon & Esperance)
  • Herenilson (Angola & Petro de Luanda)
  • Ismail El Haddad (Morocco & Wydad Casablanca)
  • Jean Marc Makusu (DR Congo & AS VITA)
  • Kodjo Fo Doh Laba (Togo & RS Berkane / Al Ain)
  • Mahmoud Alaa (Egypt & Zamalek)
  • Meddie Kagere (Rwanda & Simba)
  • Meschack Elia (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
  • Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)
  • Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)
  • Themba Zwane (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Trésor Mputu (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
  • Walid El Karti (Morocco & Wydad Casablanca)
  • Youcef Belaïli (Algeria & Esperance / Ahli Jeddah)

African Youth Player of the Year

  • Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmund)
  • Amadou Haidara (Mali & RB Leipzig)
  • Amadou Sagna (Senegal & Club Brugge)
  • Enock Mwepu (Zambia & Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Ismaïla Sarr (Senegal & Watford)
  • Krépin Diatta (Senegal & Club Brugge)
  • Moussa Djenepo (Mali & Southampton)
  • Moussa Ndiaye (Senegal & Excellence Foot)
  • Musa Barrow (Gambia & Atalanta)
  • Osvaldo Pedro Capemba ‘Capita’ (Angola & Primeiro de Agosto)
  • Patson Daka (Zambia & Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria & Villarreal)
  • Sekou Koita (Mali & Red Bull Salzburg)
  • Steve Regis Mvoue (Cameroon & AS Azur Star)
  • Victor Osimhen (Nigeria & Lille)
  • Zito Luvumbo (Angola & Primeiro de Agosto)

African Men’s Coach of the Year

  • Aliou Cisse (Senegal – Senegal)
  • Christian Gross (Switzerland – Zamalek)
  • Corentin Martins (France – Mauritania)
  • Djamel Belmadi (Algeria – Algeria)
  • Faouzi Benzarti (Tunisia – Wydad Athletic Club)
  • Gernot Rohr (Germany – Nigeria)
  • Moïne Chaâbani (Tunisia – Esperance)
  • Mounir Jaouani (Morocco – Berkane FC)
  • Nicolas Dupuis (France – Madagascar)
  • Pitso Mosimane (South Africa – Mamelodi Sundowns)

African Women’s Coach of the Year

  • Alain Djeumfa (Cameroon)
  • Bruce Mwape (Zambia)
  • Clementine Toure (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Desiree Ellis (South Africa)
  • David Ouma (Kenya)
  • Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)

African Men’s National Team of the Year

  • Algeria
  • Madagascar
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Tunisia

African Women’s National Team of the Year

  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zambia


Ighalo Emerges Highest Goal Scorer Of AFCON 2019


Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo has emerged highest goal scorer of the African Cup of Nations 2019.

Ighalo won the golden boot with five goals.

Below are other leading goalscorers in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after Algeria won the final in Cairo Friday:

READ ALSO: Algeria Sink Senegal To Claim Second Africa Cup Of Nations

3: Mahrez, Ounas (both ALG), Bakambu (COD), Mane (SEN)

2: Belaili, Bounedjah (both ALG), Elmohamady, Salah (both EGY), Kodjia, Zaha (both CIV), Andriamahitsinoro (MAD), J. Ayew (GHA), Bahoken (CMR), En-Nesyri (MAR), Msakni (TUN), Okwi (UGA), Olunga (KEN), Pote (BEN), Yattara (GUI), Zungu (RSA).


AFCON 2019: Ighalo Says Team Success More Important Than Golden Boot

Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr (2nd-R) celebrates with Nigeria’s forward Alex Iwobi (R) and Nigeria’s forward Odion Ighalo during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Nigeria and Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in the Egyptian city on July 6, 2019.


Odion Ighalo insisted on Tuesday that team success is far more important than personal accolades with his goals driving Nigeria’s run to the quarter-finals in Egypt.

The China-based forward finished as the leading scorer in qualifying for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, and Ighalo is level alongside Senegal star Sadio Mane at the top of the charts with three goals so far at the finals.

“If I don’t win golden boot but won the trophy I’d be very happy because we are here to do that,” Ighalo said ahead of Wednesday’s clash against South Africa in Cairo.

“I didn’t say I’m not interested but we are here as a team and want to try and win it as a team. I’m a striker I want to score goals but if they don’t come and we win the game I will be more satisfied.”

Ighalo came in for sharp criticism after the Super Eagles were knocked out in the group stage at last year’s World Cup, but coach Gernot Rohr was full of praise for the way he has responded.

“After the World Cup Ighalo was criticised much more than normal,” Rohr recounted. “We spoke together and I saw that he’s very strong mentally.

“Even if his family was a bit scared, he accepted the challenge to come back and play in Seychelles in the first game after the World Cup and give his answer on the pitch. He was the best goalscorer in the qualifiers and when you have someone so strong it’s really happy for the team and the coach.”

After scoring the winner in Nigeria’s opening Cup of Nations game against Burundi, Ighalo delivered a match-winning performance against defending champions Cameroon in the last 16.

He scored twice and set up Alex Iwobi for the decisive goal in Alexandria as Nigeria rallied from 2-1 down to earn a thrilling 3-2 victory. Ighalo used his feet to again hit back at his detractors.

“I don’t really pay attention to critics. I’m a professional and people are bound to criticise me. I think everybody here has been criticised one way or another but you don’t let that get to you,” said Ighalo.

“As long as the coach is satisfied with my job and everything I give on the field, I don’t really pay attention to what people say outside.

“I just give my best in every game I play. Sometimes it won’t be enough but I’m satisfied I gave my best.”


AFCON 2019 Qualifiers: Ighalo Tops Goal Scorers Chart

File: Odion Ighalo


Super Eagles of Nigeria’s forward, Odion Ighalo topped the goalscorers’ chart after the final rounds of qualifying matches for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Ighalo who plays for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, finished with seven goals, followed by Fiston Abdul-Razak of Burundi, who scored six goals.

READ ALSO: EURO 2020 Qualifier: Croatia Slump To Hungary Defeat

The Super Eagles’ striker scored one against Seychelles, a brace against Libya, a hat-trick against Libya, and one against Seychelles in the final rounds to move top on the list.

Ighalo had come under heavy criticisms by fans for failing to register a goal for Nigeria during the 2018 world cup tournament in Russia.

However, the national team hopes to make an impact in this year’s competition, after missing out on the last two tournaments in 2015 and 2017.

Nigeria Beat Libya In AFCON Qualifier

File photo: Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP


Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick as Nigeria thrashed Libya 4-0 in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo.

Ighalo opened scoring for the Super Eagles from the penalty spot after just four minutes of play.

The Changchun Yatai striker made 2-nil on 64 minutes after being played through by Alex Iwobi.

Five minutes later, Ighalo completed his hat-trick with a composed finish.

Samuel Kalu added gloss to the scoreline with his first for Nigeria in the 90th minute to seal a comprehensive victory for the Super Eagles who are now second behind South Africa in Group E.

Ighalo Not Moving To Premier League, Says Changchun Yatai

Prolific Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo will not be leaving Changchun Yatai and reports linking him with a return to the Premier League are “fake news”, the Chinese club says.

The forward was a regular goal scorer in the first half of his spell at English side Watford before moving to the Chinese Super League (CSL) with Changchun a year ago for a reported 20.9 million pounds ($29 million).

The 28-year-old went on to hit 15 goals in 27 CSL games, sparking speculation in European media that he could return to England’s top flight, with West Brom reportedly among those interested in him.

But Changchun chairman Liu Yuming has angrily quashed those claims, saying in quotes published on the club’s website: “I’m here to offer a piece of advice to whoever has bad intentions toward Yatai — we will take legal action when it is necessary and we will pursue their legal responsibilities for making up fake news.”

“We have excellent forwards such as Ighalo, is there any need to bring in another forward? Even if we do get someone in, it will be a midfielder,” Liu added, also denying that the CSL club are in for CSKA Sofia’s Brazilian striker Fernando Karanga.

“We don’t even know his name, let alone be interested,” said Liu.


I Will Gladly Return To Premier League, Says Ighalo

Odion Ighalo

Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo says he is targeting a move back to the English Premier League.

Ighalo, who plays for Chinese club Changchun Yatai F.C., said he would return to the Premier League if he had the opportunity during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sports Tonight on Wednesday.

“English Premier League is the best in the world. I have tasted it and that is why I made the name everybody knows me for today. So if the opportunity arises again, I will gladly take it and go back to the Premier League,” he said.

The 28-year-old played for Watford from 2014 to January 2017 and scored 33 goals in 82 appearances for the English club.

He later joined Yatai FC on January 31 for a reported fee of £20million and has scored 15 goals in 27 appearances.

Watford’s Ighalo Joins League Of Chinese Football Pros

Odion Ighalo, Watford, Changchun YataiWatford and China’s Changchun Yatai have agreed a fee of £20 million for Super Eagles’ Odion Ighalo.

The Nigerian who has scored just two goals for the Premier League side in the ongoing season has also agreed personal terms with the Chinese club.

Coach Walter Mazzarri’s forward options have been boosted with the arrival of Mauro Zarate on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Fiorentina.

M’baye Niang has also joined the English team on loan.

However, 27-year-old Ighalo is unlikely to be the only player to leave Vicarage Road before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday, January 31.

Rohr Wants Super Eagles To Stay Focused

Rohr Wants Super Eagles To Stay FocusedSuper Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, is not getting carried away with the form of his players ahead of the game against Algeria.

He wants the players to stay grounded despite their winning start in their World Cup qualifiers.

A win against the Algerians in Uyo will put the three-time African kings in good position to reach Russia 2018.

While acknowledging Nigeria’s confidence, the German insisted that there is still plenty of work to do before facing the North African giants.

Super Eagles players Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Musa Muhammed, Onazi Ogenyi and Odion Ighalo are the early birds in the team camp head of the 2018 World Cup qualifier on Saturday, November 12.

The coaching crew are confident that the bulk of the 23-man squad will be in camp by Tuesday night as the former African champions begin training on Wednesday morning.

The team will train twice daily in Abuja before heading to Uyo, Akwa Ibom state venue of the game against Algeria on Thursday.

The Super Eagles are top of Group B with three points after they beat Zambia 2-1 in Ndola last month and Algeria were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cameroon.

Nigeria Beat Tanzania In AFCON 2017 Qualifier

Nigeria_TanzaniaNew Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, began his stint in charge with a win, as Nigeria beat Tanzania 1-0 in their last 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

The game was played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.

Kelechi Iheanacho saved the day for Nigeria, scoring the only goal as the Super Eagles in the 78th minute to seal victory for the Super Eagles.

Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo had come close in the first half, but could not find the breakthrough for Nigeria.
Saturday’s win was the only one recorded by Nigeria in the AFCON 2017 Qualifiers as they finish with five points in four games.

Nigeria finished second in Group G behind the Pharoahs of Egypt, who clinched the sole ticket.

Super Eagles To Open Camp Ahead Of Tanzania Clash On Monday

Super eaglesNigeria’s national team, Super Eagles will open camp in Uyo on Monday, for Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Tanzania.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, made the announcement in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State in southeast Nigeria.

Dr. Ikpeme had arrived in Akwa Ibom State on Friday, as a one-man advance party ahead of the team’s assistant coaches and backroom staff who are expected to arrive in camp on Monday morning.

Home-boys Emmanuel Daniel, Ikechukwu Ezenwa (goalkeepers) and Jamiu Alimi (defender) are also expected in Uyo, alongside a number of overseas-based professionals, including defender William Troost-Ekong and forward Odion Ighalo.

Team captain, Mikel John Obi, who had led the National U-23 to Olympic bronze in Brazil, is expected to arrive at the team’s Le Meridien Hotel on Tuesday.

Both the Super Eagles and Taifa Stars have little other than pride to battle for in Saturday’s game, as Egypt’s Pharaohs have already picked the lone ticket from the group to Gabon.

However, the Eagles and their new Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, would use the match as a rehearsal for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series match-day one clash with Zambia in Ndola on October 8.

Although the result at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium would not count, the outcome of the encounter at the Levy Nwanawasa Stadium in Ndola would set the tone for the Eagles’ World Cup qualifying campaign.

The invited players are:

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers) and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah).

Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); Jamiu Alimi (Kano Pillars); Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France) and Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia).

Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium) and Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel).

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester City, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (Chelsea FC, England); Imoh Ezekiel (Al-Arabi Sporting Club, Qatar), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Brown Ideye (Olympiacos FC, Greece) and Victor Osimhen (Wolfsburg FC, Germany).

Super Eagles Defeat Luxembourg 3-1 In Friendly

Salisu Yusuf, Super Eagles
Super Eagles Coach, Salisu Yusuf.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles rounded off their two-game international friendlies with a comfortable 3-1 win over the Red Lions of Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Goals from Brown Ideye, Kelechi Iheanacho and Odion Ighalo ensured Nigeria won their second straight game in four days.

A sparse crowd at the Stade Josy Barthel in Luxembourg City watched the Super Eagles take on the Luxembourg side for the first time at full senior level with Nigeria doing the early running.

Luxembourg did have a sight at goal early in the game but did not make hay as Nigeria dominated for majority of the first half.

Aminu Umar was a live-wire down the right for Nigeria as they pressed forward to get a goal. Kelechi Iheanacho had a chance to get Nigeria ahead but was denied by a well-timed tackle as Luxembourg goalkeeper Moris Anthony was kept busy.

Nigeria eventually got the first goal in the 35th minute of the game. A mazy run by Aminu Umar created a chance for Ogenyi Onazi whose shot was parried by Anthony but Brown Ideye was on hand to tap home his first international goal in three years.

The Super Eagles continued their dominance in the second half and were rewarded when Moses Simon capitalised on a poor clearance by the Luxembourg goalkeeper to square the ball to Kelechi Iheanacho to score his second goal in two matches to put Nigeria 2-0 up in the 68th minute.

Luxembourg thought they had clawed their way back into the game when Kenneth Omeruo’s mistake in defence gifted youngster Vincent Thill the opportunity to reduce the deficit in the 89th minute.

Odion Ighalo though sealed the game for Nigeria in added time to make it 3-1 and earn the Super Eagles a comfortable win.