Riyad Mahrez was crowned the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016. credit/BBC

Riyad Mahrez was crowned the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016. credit/BBC


BBC Unveils African Footballer of the Year 2017, Saturday

Hours from now, on Saturday, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will unveil five nominees for the BBC African Footballer of the Year, 2017.

The Corporation said the names will be revealed during a star-studded special live show – on BBC World News, BBC World Service and BBC Sport Online – starting at 18:00 GMT.

Then overall winner will be announced live at 17:30 GMT on Monday, 11 December.

The report added that a panel including Emmanuel Amuneke, an African and 1996 Olympic champion, Arnaud Djoum, a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winner with Cameroon, and Jean Sseninde, of Uganda and Crystal Palace Ladies, will discuss this year’s nominees

The five will all be seeking to follow the footsteps of reigning winner Riyad Mahrez, who starred for both Premier League champions Leicester City and Algeria in 2016.

Winning last year’s award, Mahrez said: “It means a lot; it’s something big for African players so I am very happy, I am very proud. For African players, it’s a huge honour.”

The list of former winners reads like a roll call of African football royalty, with Ivorian duo Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure, Jay-Jay Okocha of Nigeria and Liberian legend George Weah having all been voted the continent’s best.

Peter Okwoche and Mimi Fawaz will present Saturday’s show in front of a live audience in London, while fans will also be able to keep up with the proceedings via social media.

Fans can vote for their favourite via the Corporation’s African football website from 19:00 GMT on Saturday, 11 November until the vote closes at 18:00 GMT on Monday, 27 November.

The Corporation’s African Footballer of the Year (previously known as the BBC African Sports Star of the Year and the African Sports Personality of the Year) is an annual award given to the best African footballer of the year as voted by the radio listeners. Voting is done via SMS and online.

Initially a sports award, the inaugural winner was Ghana‘s Abedi Pele in 1992.

Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on editorkingsuba@gmail.com. I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles