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Mohamed Salah Crowned African Player Of The Year For Second Straight Year

Peter Okunoren

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Mohamed Salah of Egypt is the African Player of the Year 2018, for the second time in a row, it was announced in Dakar, Senegal Tuesday night.

He beat two other competitors shortlisted with him, Liverpool team mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang of Arsenal.

“I have dreamt of winning this award since I was a child and now I have done so twice in a row,” Salah said soon after receiving his trophy.

“My thanks go to my family, my team-mates and my fans and I dedicate this trophy to my homeland, Egypt.”

It was an identical outcome to last year when Salah became only the second Egyptian after 1983 winner Mahmoud al Khatib to be voted the best footballer in Africa.

Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa was crowned African Women’s Player of the Year 2018 at the Aiteo-CAF awards, while Nigeria’s female team won Women’s National Team of the Year.

Achraf Hakimi was named African Youth Player of the Year 2018.

Mo Salah was also not surprisingly named among Africa’s Best X1 players that did not include any Nigerian.

Other players are Aubameyang, Mane, Mahrez, Keita, Partey, Koulibaly, Bailly, Benatia and Aurier.

Onyango as the goalkeeper completed the Africa Eleven.

Mauritania are the Men’s national Team of the Year.

The coaches were also recognised with Herve Renard winning Men’s coach of the Year and Desiree Ellis, coach of the Bayana Bayana, winning Women’s Coach of the Year. (NAN)

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Amaju Pinnick In Trouble As FG Slams N4bn, $8,400 Fraud Charges On NFF President

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Federal Government has charged the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and four others with alleged misappropriation of $8,400 belonging to the football body.

In a 17-count charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/93/2019, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, the money was said to have been paid by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the NFF as appearance fees in the group state of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Named with Pinnick in the charge, are NFF Secretary, Sunusi Mohammed; the 1st Vice-President, Seyi Akinwumi; the 2nd Vice-President, Shehu Dikko and an Executive member, Yusuff Fresh.

The defendants were also accused of “moving dishonestly and intentionally the sum of about N4bn” belonging to the NFF without the consent of the NFF.

The five are also accused, in the charge filed by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), led by Okoi Obono-Obla, of failing and neglecting to declare their assets.

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AFCON 2019: Nigeria Draws Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi [Full Fixtures]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn against Guinea, Madagascar, and Burundi in Group B of the African Cup of Nations, Egypt 2019.

The Gernot Rohr lads will begin their campaign at the the championship they won in South Africa i. 2013 against Burundi in the group opener.

In other groups, host Egypt will battle DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe in Group A, former champions Senegal and Algeria will have Kenya and giant killers Tanzania to slug it with in Group C.

Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire South Africa and Namibia were drawn in Group D which tagged as the competition Group of Death.

North African champions, Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania and Angola are up for Group E qualifying tickets.

Cameroon will also have Ghana, Benin and Guinea-Bissau to contend with Group F of the tournament.

Group A

Egypt
DR Congo
Uganda
Zimbabwe

Group B

Nigeria
Guinea
Madagascar
Burundi

Group C

Senegal
Algeria
Kenya
Tanzania

Group D

Morocco
Cote d’Ivoire
South Africa
Namibia

Group E

Tunisia
Mali
Mauritania
Angola

Group F

Cameroon
Ghana
Benin
Guinea-Bissau

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BIG STORY

Give Me £500,000-A-Week And I’ll Snub Real Madrid —- Pogba Tells Man Utd

Peter Okunoren

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Manchester United are reportedly ready to open talks with Paul Pogba over a new contract, the UK Sun reports.

But the French midfielder is going to test Old Trafford chiefs desire to keep him, by demanding a total wage packet of £500,000-a-week.

It is believed Pogba wants parity as the club’s highest paid player with Alexis Sanchez, as the eye-watering deal handed to Sanchez 15 months ago, is coming back to bite executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward once again.

Sanchez’s huge contract has changed the game at United, especially given the struggles suffered by the South American since joining last January.

Pogba’s demands will be strengthened by public admissions from Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zidane, that he would like his compatriot at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Pogba has two years left on his current £300,000-a-week deal, with a further 12-month option.

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