Etihad Stadium - 6/2/16 Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic
CAIRO – 3 January 2017: CAF Player of the year award winner will be announced on Thursday during the CAF annual ceremony held in Accra, Ghana. Liverpool’s Egyptian winger, Mohamed Salah, is nominated for the award, alongside Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Salah, 25, is expected to win the award for his contributions this season on both the club and international level. Arab fans’ hearts will be with Salah to win the 10th CAF Player of the Year Award.
From its inception in 1970 and until 1994, the award was conferred by France Football magazine. In 1995, however, it was replaced by the CAF African Player of the Year, granted by the African Football Federation, which started in 1992.
The first Arab player to win the award was Morocco’s Ahmed Faras in 1975 for his contributions with his local club, Chabab Mohammédia.
Two years later, Tunisia’s biggest star of the 70s, Tarek Diab, won the award, and a year later, he led Tunisia to become the first African team to win a game at the World Cup when they defeated Mexico 3-1 at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
Lakhdar Belloumi won for Algeria the first award in 1981, and he was placed third in the 1982 ceremony, which was won by Cameroon’s Thomas N'Kono.
Al Ahly’s current president, Mahmoud El-Khatib, brought the award to Egypt in 1983. Since then, no other Egyptian player has been successful.
In 1985, Mohamed Timoumi became the second Moroccan to win the award after he led his team, FAR Rabat, to win the CAF Champions League title.
Morocco kept the title in the next year, as their goalkeeper, Ezzaki Badou, won the award in 1986.
Rabah Madjer secured the award in 1987 when he led his team, Porto, to victory in the European Champions League, scoring a goal in the final. Madjer was the last Arab player to win the award with France Football.
Arabs missed the award for 11 years before Mustapha Hadji from Morocco won the award in 1998 to grant Moroccans their fourth award.
The last Arab player to win the award was Riyad Mehrez in 2016, after he pushed his team to win the Premier League title.
Four awards for Morocco, three for Algeria, one award for both Tunisia and Egypt: that is the achievement so far by Arab nations at receiving the CAF Player of the Year Award. Currently, Egypt is most likely to win the 10 award, thanks to Salah.
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