Nigeria’s search for a return to the podium with a player as African Footballer of The Year is set to be spearheaded by Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong and OghenekaroEtebo, as feelers reaching footballlive.ng indicate that all three are highly rated for nominations.
A sneak preview from the corridors of Confederation of African Football (CAF) indicates that Musa, Troost-Ekong and Etebo are bound to be named among the nominees when the first shortlist for this year’s awards rolls out next month.
It was gathered further that Elche of Spain goalkeeper, Francis OdinakaUzoho is also set to be named among the honours roll call, as he has been tipped for a slot as young player of the year.
However, CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad refused to let the cat out of the bag during his visit to Senegal, where he confirmed that the Francophone West African country’s capital, Dakar, will host the next awards’ night.
Despite recent speculation to the contrary, Ahmad also affirmed that the next CAF Awards will take place in Dakar on January 8, 2019.
Senegal’s football association president, Augustin Senghor announced Dakar as venue of the awards’ night, but there were worries that it would be relocated due to some ongoing construction work in the city.
However, in confirming Dakar as the venue, Ahmad thanked Senegal’s president, MackySall for accepting that his country could host what he called such a huge ceremony.
The CAF boss said: “The unveiling of the 2018 African Footballer of the Year will take place in Dakar on January 8 in collaboration with Senegalese authorities.
“The local organising committee has been put in place and has begun work. I would like to thank Senegal president MackySall who accepted to host such a huge sporting event. And also the sport ministry and the football federation.”
This comes few hours after Musa made top marks in the Saudi Arabia Super League, as he scored a hat-trick for Al Nassr.
After firing blanks in two previous games, Musa scored the goals in the match to secure a 3-0 victory for Al Nassr against Al Quadisiya.
Musa broke the deadlock after getting an assist from AbderrazakHamdallah in the 21st minute before doubling the lead four minutes before interval.
In the second half, the 25-year-old former Kano Pillars, VV Van Venlo of Holland, CSKA Moscow of Russia and Leicester City of England attacker linked up with NordinAmrabat for his third goal at Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium in Khobar.
After the win, Musa took to Twitter to thank his teammates and supporters for helping him hit top form and end up getting the match ball.
“First Hat Trick for Al Nassr Thanks to my teammates and the supports for all the love!” Musa tweeted.