Warriors forward, Khama Billiat has been shortlisted for the prestigious Caf African Player of the Year (based in Africa) award.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Billiat’s Mamelodi Sundowns team-mates playmaker, Keagan Dolly, midfielder, Hlompho Kekana and Ugandan goalkeeper, Denis Onyango have also been named on the five-man shortlist following their outstanding performances this season, which helped the Brazilians to Caf Champions League success.
But it is the Warriors star forward, who is tipped to win the award, having been the outstanding player in the South African Premier Soccer League, culminating in him being chosen the PSL Footballer of the Season, as well as KickOff Footballer of the Season. He followed that up with an outstanding display in the continental competition.
The Zimbabwean had also been nominated for the African Player of the Year award, but failed to make the five-man short list, which has Gabon international, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who plays for Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez and Senegal international Sadio Mane, who plays for English Premiership side, Liverpool, Leicester City’s Islam Slimani of Algeria and Egypt’s Mohammed Salah, who plays for Roma in Italy.
Should Billiat win the award, he will be the first Zimbabwean to achieve that feat.
Caf, in a statement, said the top five was decided by votes from the members of the Caf media committee, Caf technical and development committee and half of the 20-member panel of experts.
“For the final phase, votes from the head coaches/technical directors of the 54 national associations affiliated to Caf plus associate members, Reunion Island and Zanzibar, together with the other half of the 20-member panel of experts (10 persons) will be counted towards the determination of the eventual winners.,” Caf said in a statement.
The 2016 Glo-Caf Awards gala sponsored by telecommunication giants, Globacom, will be held on January 5, 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Top five 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).
Top five African Player of the Year: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund), Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City), Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool), Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Roma), Islam Slimani (Algeria & Leicester City)