The duo enjoyed a fine season for Masandawana, helping the Pretoria club to domestic league and continental success, and were recognised for their efforts after making the top five nominees for the prestigious award alongside club teammates Keagan Dolly and Hlompho Kekana as well as TP Mazembe’s Rainford Kalaba.
Yet following votes from head coaches and technical directors of the national associations affiliated to CAF, media committees, technical and football committees and a panel of media experts, the South African duo of Dolly and Kekana were axed from the list, leaving Uganda’s Onyango, Zimbabwe’s Billiat and Zambia’s Kalaba to fight it out for the top prize.
In the African Player of the Year category, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane made the final cut, with Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Islam Slimani of Algeria missing out.
The winners will be unveiled at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala on Thursday, 5 January 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Below are the top three (in alphabetical order):
African Player of the Year
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)
Sadio Mané (Senegal & Liverpool)
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa
Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe & Mamelodi Sundowns)
Rainford Kalaba (Zambia & TP Mazembe)