Eagles stars dropped, Auba, Mahrez top CAF award list

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The Confederation of  African Football  has   unveiled its final five-man shortlist for the 2016 African Player of the Year award.

Aubameyang, Mahrez
Aubameyang, Mahrez

Borussia Dortmund’s Gabonese   forward Pierre-Emerick  Aubameyang, who  won the gong  for 2015, was shortlisted for the   prestigious award alongside Leicester City’s Algerian  attacking duo Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani, as well as Liverpool’s Senegalese attacker Sadio Mane and Roma’s Egyptian defender  Mohamed Salah. The winner  of the award sponsored by telecommunications  giants Globacom will  be announced  during   the Glo/CAF  awards ceremony  in Abuja on January 5, 2017.

Nigeria trio  Mikel Obi,  Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa   were  among the 30 players nominated   for the  award by  CAF in October, but the  African football’s governing body on Tuesday dropped them along with 22 others.

Aubameyang, 27, who is  this season’s joint top-scorer with  Cologne’s Anthony Modeste  in the German Bundesliga,  faces stiff competition from Premier  League winner  and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Mahrez, 25, for this year’s award.

Slimani, who  joined the Foxes from Portuguese powerhouse Sporting Lisbon on a £29.8m summer transfer window deal, has been impressive for his new employers and his country this year.

The 28-year-old, who is  Algeria’s fifth highest all-time goalscorer, missed Tuesday’s  Champions League clash against Club Brugge due to a groin  problem.

Mane has been a revelation  since arriving at Anfield   from Southampton this summer  for around £30m.

The jet-heeled forward has  scored 15 goals in all competitions as well as providing nine assists for his teammates.

Chelsea flop  Salah  has rejuvenated his career at Roma, and  the 24-year-old  has netted eight Serie A goals this term.

In the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) category, Denis Onyango, Hlompho Kekana, Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat from the 2016 Champions League-winning team Mamelodi Sundowns, as well as  TP Mazembe’s Zambia captain  Rainford Kalaba made the list .

According to CAF, the winners will be decided by votes from the head coaches and technical directors of the national associations affiliated to the body.

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