It’s a double win for Egypt on Tuesday, which had made headlines earlier in the day for securing the hosting rights for the Africa Nations Cup 2019, as its star forward Mohamed Salah was voted the African Footballer of the Year for the second successive year.
Salah beat fellow nominees, Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Confederation of African Football’s awards ceremony in Dakar on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old edged out the same two players last year in a vote decided by the technical directors and head coaches of 56 CAF member associations.
Salah becomes the fourth African after El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure to win the award back to back.
The other male awards went to France-born Morocco coach Herve Renard, the Mauritania national team, and Moroccan Achraf Hakimi in the youth category.
South African Chrestinah Kgatlana was voted Women’s Player of the Year and South Africa coach Desiree Ellis and the Nigeria national team were the other female winners.
Salah helped Liverpool reach the 2018 Champions League final but suffered a shoulder injury during the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in Kiev.
That injury raised doubts about his World Cup participation but he regained fitness to represent Egypt in the finals in Russia, scoring twice as they exited in the first round.
The Egyptian has scored 13 Premier League goals this season to guide Liverpool to the top of the standings.
Salah’s award capped a great day for Egypt as the country had been earlier named the host of CAN 2019 which had been stripped off Cameroon.
Egypt defeated South Africa 16-1 earlier on Tuesday in a CAF executive committee vote in Dakar to decide which country succeeded Cameroon as 2019 Cup of Nations hosts.
Kola Tella with agency reports