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Sports

Mohamad Salah retains African Footballer of the Year

media Mo Salah in a match for Liverpool REUTERS/Darren Staples

Egypt's Mohamed Salah has been voted African Footballer of the Year to make it back-to-back trophies at the awards ceremony in Dakar, Senegal. The 26-year-old Liverpool star finished first with teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabonese Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the other finalists.

"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 in Dakar.

"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.

Egypt crushed sole rivals 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.

While the 15-vote winning margin for Egypt was unexpected, the success of Salah was anticipated as he continues to score regularly for the English Premier League leaders.

Salah netted 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season -- his first with the Anfield club -- and has bagged 13 Premier League goals so far this season.

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.

The Goal of the Year award also went to Kgatlana.

(with AFP)

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