After weeks of voting, the African footballer of the year has been announced, and Riyhad Mahrez took the trophy over Yaya Toure, Andre Ayew, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mane.
On the 12th December 2016 at 5:30 pm, Riyhad Mahrez won his first ever African Footballer of the year, which is voted for by the public. It is a very prestigious award in Africa, as it shows you were the best footballer in that continent in that respected year. The voting system eliminates three of the five candidates early on, and then reveals the winner about an hour later. The three people eliminated first are in particular order, but the last two are the first and second in the voting. Sadio Mane came in a close second but Riyhad Mahrez took the trophy. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was eliminated first which left some people very surprised. The next footballer eliminated was Yaya Toure who has won the award twice (the same amount as Jay-Jay Okocha and one more than George Weah) but maybe he didn’t have as good of a year as the other contestants, so there was not much outcry over his elimination. The last of the first three eliminations came in the form of West Ham’s Andre Ayew who was injured at the start of this season so it came as no surprise when he was eliminated.
It came down to the final two footballers: Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Leicester’s Riyhad Mahrez. Both players had never won the award before, and so wanted just as bad as each other. Eventually, Mahrez won the award after taking Leicester to a BPL title. He told BBC sport “It means a lot, it’s something big for African players so I am very happy, I am very proud”.