The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has announced the top five shortlists for the 2016 African Player of the Year with names of John Obi Mikel, Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa missing on the list.
The midfielder had earlier been included on the 30-man list for his performances with Dream Team VI and Chelsea in 2016 alongside Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa but their names are nowhere to be found on the five-man list released today.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Mohammed Salah and Islam Slimani made the top five decided by votes from the members of the CAF Media Committee, CAF Technical & Development Committee and half of the 20-member panel of experts.
Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang won the accolade for 2015 after a sizzling start to the previous season for the Bundesliga club.
In the African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) category, Dennis Onyango, Hlompho Kekana, Keegan Dolly and Khama Billiat from the 2016 African Champions League winning side, Mamelodi Sundowns made the mark with T.P Mazembe’s Rainford Kabala completing the list.
The winners will be decided by votes from the head coaches and Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF.
The Glo/CAF awards gala nite will take place on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria.
African Player of the Year
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borrusia Dortmund)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma)
Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)
African Player of the Year (Based in Africa)
Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns & Zimbabwe)
Keegan Dolly (Mamelodi Sundowns & South Africa)
Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe & Zambia)
Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns & South Africa)
Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns & Uganda)