Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | Prolific goalscorers Mohamed Salah of Egypt and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon were named on Monday among the three finalists for the African Player of the Year award.
Sadio Mane of Senegal completes a list announced in Ghana for the highest annual Confederation of African Football (CAF) individual honour.
Liverpool sharpshooter Salah is the leading English Premier League scorer this season with 14 goals, having moved from Roma in the off-season.
He also scored crucial goals as Egypt reached the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will be the first appearance by the Pharaohs at the global showpiece in 28 years.
Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang lies second in the Bundesliga scorers charts with 13 goals, two less than Poland and Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski.
Mane, a team-mate of Salah at Liverpool, was the pivotal figure as Senegal reached the World Cup for the first time since 2002.
African Player of the Year title-holder Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Leicester City was not among the 30-man original shortlist for the award this year.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) December 18, 2017
CAF spokesman Junior Binyam told AFP the emergency committee of the organisation decided that the Africa-based Player of the Year and referee categories should be removed.
He gave no reasons for the decisions after 10 footballers and six referees had been shortlisted last month for the awards.
CAF awards shortlists
African Player of the Year
Mohamed Salah (EGY, Liverpool/ENG), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB, Borussia Dortmund/GER), Sadio Mane (SEN, Liverpool/ENG)
Women’s Player of the Year
Asisat Oshoala (NGR, Dalian Quanjian/CHN), Chrestina Kgatlana (RSA, UWC Ladies), Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (CMR, CSKA Moscow/RUS)
Youth Player of the Year
Krepin Diatta (SEN, Sarpsborg/NOR), Patson Daka (ZAM, Liefering/AUT), Salam Giddou (MLI, Guidars)
Coach of the Year
Gernot Rohr (NGR), Hector Cuper (EGY), L’Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Casablanca/MAR)
Club of the Year
Al Ahly (EGY), TP Mazembe (COD), Wydad (MAR)
National Team of the Year
Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria
Women’s National Team of the Year
Ghana U-20, Nigeria U-20, South Africa