BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS star striker Tino Kadewere has been shortlisted for the lucrative Marc-Vivien Foé award, an accolade given to the best African player playing in France’s Ligue 1.
The 25-year-old Olympique Lyonnais forward is among 11 finalists shortlisted for the award, given in honour of the late Cameroonian player Marc-Vivien Foé, who collapsed and died during an international match in 2003.
A winner, selected by a jury made up of nearly 100 journalists specialising in French and African football, will be announced on May 17.
Kadewere, who has handled the big step to Lyon successfully, is up against some of the world football greats including former Everton midfield linchpin Idrissa Gana Gueye from Senegal.
The Senegalese is now playing for Paris Saint-Germain.
Cameroonian Karl Toko-Ekambi, who also plays for Lyon, is also in the running for the award he won two years ago, and so is Alexandre Oukidja (Algeria & Metz), Nayef Aguerd (Morocco & Rennes), Farid Boulaya (Algeria & Metz), Andy Delort (Algeria & Montpellier).
Also making the cut are former Chelsea star Gael Kakuta (DR Congo & RC Lens), Boulaye Dia (Senegal & Reims), Seko Fofana (Cote d’Ivoire & Lens) and Mozambican Reinildo Mandava who plays for Lille.
Kadewere has hit the ground running in his debut season in the French Ligue 1 where he has netted 10 goals and weighed in with three assists this term for Lyon who are chasing after the league title as well as a Uefa champions league spot.
Lyon are currently on fourth position on the log standings with 61 points, five behind log leaders Lille, with seven rounds of matches left in the season.
They are two points behind PSG who hold the last Champions League spot, and a point less than third-placed Monaco.
Foé died on June 26, 2003 at the Gerland Stadium in Lyon during a Confederations Cup semi-finals clash between Cameroon and Columbia.
Aged 28, Foé played for Racing Club de Lens and the Olympique Lyonnais in France, leaving the memory of an exemplary and unanimously appreciated footballer.
In memory of the legendary African player who played as a defensive midfield, Ligue 1 has since 2011 honoured him by awarding the trophy for the best African player bearing his name.
Big name players who have won the award before include the current Arsenal pair of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2013 and Nicolas Pépé in 2019.
Gervinho, who also played for Arsenal before, and Ghana captain André Ayew have also won this award.
Nigerian and Napoli player Victor Osimhen is the current holder of the trophy.
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