08 January 2015 06:09
A new chapter will be written in the history of African football irrespective of the winner of the 2014 African Player of the Year.
There is a historical background surrounding each of the contenders; Gabonese forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nigeria goalie Vincent Enyeama and Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure.
The trio has had a stellar year at both national and club level making the contest one too close to call. Each stands an equal chance of being crowned the African Player of the Year.
Toure, winner for the past three editions, faces a tough test from Aubameyang and Enyeama, in his quest for an unprecedented fourth successive crown.
Ex-Cameroon star, Samuel Eto’o remains the only person to have won the prize four times - 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2010. The Ivorian is not only seeking to equal the feat of the England-based forward, but also become the first player to win the topmost individual honour in African football four times in a row.
Aubameyang and Enyeama also have their pieces of record to make. For the former, he will be the first Gabonese to have laid his hands on the prestigious crown since its inception in 1992.
With the record of the first goalkeeper to win the award hovering around his head, Enyeama will also be the first Nigerian since 1999 to claim the most sought after individual prize in African football. Legendary forward Nwankwo Kanu was last Nigeria to be decorated in 1999, three years after his initial coronation. Other Nigerian winners are Rashidi Yekini (1993), Emmanuel Amunike (1994) and Victor Ikpeba (1997).
For the African Player of the Year – Based in Africa, Algerian duo, Akram Djahnit and El Hedi Belamieri will slug it with DR Congo forward, Firmin Mubele Ndombe for the award, decided by votes from the Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, just as the flagship African Player of the Year.
The 180-minutes show to honour Africa’s finest football personalities will be fused with music to blend the celebration of football excellence with the best of entertainment.
Set to thrill on the night is Africa’s sensational pop twins, P-Square. The identical twin brothers will entertain the crowd with their numerous hits and highly captivating dance moves.
The masked one and Afro-Calypso originator, Lagbaja, will also perform on the night.
“Shake,” and “Ada Ada” crooner, Flavour, the prolific Nigerian recording artiste, dancer, songwriter, and performer will also add his signature splendour to the night just as ASEM from Ghana.
Other top acts expected to do their stuff at the high octane continental event are DR Congo’s multiple award-winning song writer, singer and guitarist, Fally Ipupa; global Jazz icon, Hugh Masekela from South Africa and Egyptian folk singer and the first person from an Arab country to perform at a Nobel Prize ceremony, Hakim.
The rest billed to perform at the show, which will be watched live all over the world, include the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa, sensational singing group, Uhuru; pan African group, Cirque D’Afrique and Tanzania’s prominent multiple award-winning singer, Diamond.
Below are the top three for the various categories
African Player of the Year (in alphabetical order)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Borussia Dortmund)
Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria and Lille)
Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester City)
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa
Akram Djahnit (Algeria and ES Setif)
El Hedi Belamieri (Algeria and ES Setif)
Firmin Mubele Ndombe (DR Congo and AS Vita)
Women’s Player of the Year
Annette Ngo Ndom (Cameroon and Amazon Grimstad)
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and River Angels)
Desire Oparanozie (Nigeria and Guingamp)
Youth Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and River Angels)
Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon and Barcelona)
Uchechi Sunday (Nigeria and River Angels)
Most Promising Talent
Clinton N’jie (Cameroon and Olympique Lyon)
Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon and Porto)
Yacine Brahimi (Algeria and Porto)
Coach of the Year
Florent Ibenge (DR Congo)
Kheireddine Madoui (ES Setif)
Vahid Halilhodžić (Former coach of Algeria)
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year
Club of the Year
Al Ahly (Egypt)
AS Vita (DR Congo)
Sewe Sport (Cote d’Ivoire)
Referee of the Year
Alioum Neant (Cameroon)
Doue Noumandiez Desire (Cote d’Ivoire)
Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
Football Leader of the Year
Moise Katumbi Chapwe - President of TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
African Legend award
Oryx Club (Cameroon) – winners of the maiden edition of CAF Champions League 1964
Stade Malien (Mali) - runner up of the maiden edition of CAF Champion’s League 1964