The ceremony for the 2017 Aiteo Confederation of Africa Football, CAF Awards was held on Thursday, Jan. 4th, at the State House Banquet Hall, Accra, Ghana.
The CAF Awards which celebrates football stars honored Nigeria’s Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala who took home the Women’s Player of the Year Award for the third time.
Egypt and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, 25, was crowned the 2017 CAF Player of the Year. Salah becomes the first Egyptian since Mahmoud El Khatib in 1983 (when the award was organised by France Football magazine) to be crowned African best player.
In the Coach of the Year category, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr lost to Argentina and Egypt coach Hector Cuper.
The National Team of the Year Award went to the Pharaohs of Egypt who qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and were the finalist at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, while South Africa won the Women’s National Team of the Year Award.
Past winners of the CAF Player of the Year Award were present to mark the 2017 CAF Awards. Also, top African music stars like Nigeria’s Tiwa Savage, Phyno, Flavour, Wizkid, Olamide, Patoranking and Fali Ipupa of the Democratic Republic of Congo entertained guests at the ceremony.
Also present at the event was Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo, former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura and Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode among others.
See the full list of winners below:
Women’s National Team of the Year
Leader of the Year
Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania)
Club of the Year
Coach of the Year
Hector Cuper (Egypt)
Youth Player of the Year
Patson Daka (Zambia)
Men’s National Team of the Year
Women’s Player of the Year
African Player of the Year
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo and Liberian president-elect and former CAF Player of the Year, George Weah were also honoured with platinum awards.
Over the last year, Aiteo Group, sponsors of the CAF Awards has been supporting sports development in Nigeria, leading a partnership agreement with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to provide financial Support to the technical team of Nigeria’s national team for the next five years.
Speaking before the 2017 CAF Awards, Aiteo’s Executive Vice President Benedict Peters declared that Africa’s young people are the real winners at the event.
Taking a cue from the just concluded Liberian Presidential election, Peter said it was a fine example of the transformative power of football.
He declared that the victory of football legend and opposition candidate, George Weah, who is now President-elect of Liberia, one of Africa’s most popular countries, in the face of an initial unsuccessful attempt is a testament to the endurance football teaches.
According to Peter, football stars like Weah have become positive role models to young Africans but cautioned that it was unlikely that each child would grow up to be the next George Weah, Abedi Pele, Didier Drogba or Jay Jay Okocha and therefore insisted that they must also work hard in school.