Kalaba in CAF awards finals

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Rainford Kalaba
Rainford Kalaba

ZAMBIA international and TP Mazembe midfield genius Rainford Kalaba has made the final list for the locally-based African-Footballer of the Year.
Kalaba is among five finalists on the Confederations of African Football’s (CAF’s) reduced list released yesterday and reported by theBBC.
The DRC-based player is one of Zambia’s most influential midfielders because of his ingenuity but was recently dropped from the national team after running in trouble with the Football Association of Zambia for his comments over his future with the squad.
He was a finalist even last year but was pipped to the award by Egyptian legend Mohamed Aboutrika.
And BBC reports that four Nigerians are included on CAF’s trimmed shortlist of 10 nominees for its 2013 Player of the Year award.
John Mikel Obi, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, Emmanuel Emenike and Ahmed Musa all helped the Super Eagles win the Africa Cup of Nations in February.
The reigning CAF Player of the Year, Yaya Toure of Ivory Coast, is also in the running to retain his crown to add to the BBC award he won earlier in the week.
Egypt’s Mohamed Aboutrika is on the reduced lists for both African Player of the Year and and the award for Africa-based footballer, which he won last year.
Members of CAF’s Technical and Development and Media Committees reduced the African Player of the Year Award from 25 while the Africa-based list was cut from 21 nominees.
The head coaches of the national football associations affiliated to Caf will now vote to decide the eventual winners of the two categories.
The winners will be announced at the Glo-CAF Awards Gala scheduled for  January 9 in Lagos, Nigeria.
CAF African Player of the Year nominees:
•Mohamed Aboutrika – Al Ahly (Egypt) and Egypt
•Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund (Germany) and Gabon
•Didier Drogba – Galatasaray (Turkey) and Ivory Coast
•Emmanuel Emenike – Fenerbahce (Turkey) and Nigeria
•Vincent Enyeama – Lille (France) and Nigeria
•Asamoah Gyan – Al Ain (UAE) and Ghana
•Ahmed Musa – CSKA Moscow (Russia) and Nigeria
•John Mikel Obi – Chelsea (England) and Nigeria
•Jonathan Pitroipa – Rennes (France) and Burkina Faso
•Yaya Toure – Manchester City (England) and Ivory Coast
African Player of the Year – Based in Africa – nominees:
•Mohamed Aboutrika – Al Ahly (Egypt) and Egypt
•Ahmed Fathy – Al Ahly (Egypt) and Egypt
•Rainford Kalaba – TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Zambia
•Sunday Mba – Warri Wolves (Nigeria) and Nigeria
•Tresor Mputu Mabi – TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and DR Congo.

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