South Africa & Morocco players dominate CAF Women’s Player of the Year awards shortlist

© Imago.

FOOTBALL South Africa & Morocco players dominate CAF Women’s Player of the Year awards shortlist

Joel Omotto 18:04 - 27.11.2023

African champions South Africa and runners-ups Morocco have three players each among the nominees for the 2023 Africa Player of the Year awards

South Africa and Morocco have three players each in the women’s category of the CAF Player of the Year awards.

African champions South Africa have goalkeeper Andile Dlamini of Mamelodi Sundowns, midfielder Hilda Magaia of Sejong Sportstoto, and striker Thembi Kgatlana, who plays for Racing Louisville, while Morocco’s Anissa Lahmari (Levante Las Planas), Fatima Tagnaout (AS FAR) and team-mate and Ghizlaine Chebbak have also been nominated.

Five-time African Player of the Year Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona has also made the list and is joined by Nigerian compatriot Chiamaka Nnadozie of Paris FC.

Zambia captain Barbara Banda of Shanghai Shengli and Ajara Nchout Njoya of Cameroon, who plays for Inter Milan, have also been nominated.

It will be tough to select the winner given the great form shown by the nominees in the past year.

The South African trio played a crucial role in Banyana Banyana’s maiden victory at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco with Dlamini emerging as the goalkeeper of the tournament after keeping three clean sheets while Hilda Magaia scored both goals as they beat Morocco 2-1 in the final. Kgatlana, meanwhile, had one goal at the tournament.

Kgatlana and Magaia then played a key role as South Africa made history by making it to the round of 16 at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the former scored twice and created one while the latter scored one goal.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s Lahmari scored once at the World Cup besides helping the Atlas Lionesses to the WAFCON final while Tagnaout and Chebbak made the list after their starring role in the continental tournament where the latter was the player of the tournament.

Oshoala, who is bidding for a record-extending sixth award, failed to sparkle at the WAFCON after getting injured in the opening game ruled her out for the rest of the tournament.

She, however, made history in 2023 when she became the first African player to score at three World Cups, adding to goals against Sweden in 2015 and South Korea in France four years ago while Nnadozie was among the star players at the tournament when she made brilliant saves on their way to the round of 16.

Banda and Nchout Njoya stand little chance, however, as the former failed to feature at the WAFCON after being barred for failing gender eligibility tests while the latter could not make it to the World Cup as Cameroon were knocked out of the African tournament at the quarter-final.

Banda, however, led Zambia to their maiden World Cup where she scored a penalty in their 3-1 win over Costa Rica, having been thrashed 5-0 by both Japan and Spain.

The ultimate winner of each category will be decided after votes from a voting panel consisting of CAF Technical Committee, media professionals from member associations, head coaches and captains of member associations and clubs involved in the group stages of the interclub competitions.

The awards gala will take place in Marrakech, Morocco on December 11.

Follow Pulse Sports WhatsApp channel for more news.


Player of the Year

1. Ajara Nchout Njoya (Cameroon, Internazionale Milano)

2. Anissa Lahmari (Morocco, Levante Las Planas)

3. Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)

4. Ghizlaine Chebbak (Morocco, AS FAR)

5. Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria, Barcelona)

6. Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)

7. Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

8. Hilda Magaia (South Africa, Sejong Sportstoto)

9. Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa, Racing Louisville)

10. Barbara Banda (Zambia, Shanghai Shengli)

Goalkeeper of the Year

1. Imane Abdelahad (Morocco, SC Casablanca)

2. Khadija Er-Rmichi (Morocco, AS FAR)

3. Chiamaka Nnadozie (Nigeria, Paris FC)

4. Andile Dlamini (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

5. Kaylin Swart (South Africa, JVW)

Interclub Player of the Year

1. Refilwe Tholakele (Botswana, Mamelodi Sundowns)

2. Comfort Yeboah (Ghana, Ampem Darkoa)

3. Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco, AS FAR)

4. Ghizlaine Chebbak (Morocco, AS FAR)

5. Lebohang Ramalepe (South Africa, Mamelodi Sundowns)

Young Player of the Year (not more than 21 years)

1. Comfort Yeboah (Ghana, Ampem Darkoa)

2. Nesryne El Chad (Morocco, Lille)

3. Deborah Abiodun (Nigeria, Pittsburg Panthers)

4. Esther Opeyemi Ajakaye (Nigeria, Delta Queens)

5. Thubelihle Shamase (South Africa, University of Johannesburg FC)

Coach of the Year

1. Mehdi El Qaichouri (SC Casablanca)

2. Reynald Pedros (Morocco)

3. Randy Waldrum (Nigeria)

4. Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

5. Jerry Tshabalala (Mamelodi Sundowns)

National Team of the Year

1. Morocco

2. Nigeria

3. Senegal

4. South Africa

5. Zambia

Club of the Year

1. Ampem Darkoa (Ghana)

2. AS FAR (Morocco)

3. SC Casablanca (Morocco)

4. Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

5. JKT Queens (Tanzania)