Who will steal the show tonight at 2012 CAF awards
ZAMBIA is tonight expected to steal the limelight at the 2012 Glo-CAF awards ceremony in Accra with three prizes in sight.
National team stars Rainford Kalaba and Stopilla Sunzu are vying for the African-based-player-of-the-year award alongside Al Ahly and Egypt midfielder Mohammed Aboutrika.
The event is slated for Banquet Hall, State House in Accra.
African champions Zambia are in the running for the team-of-the-year award alongside Africa Cup of Nations debutants Cape Verde and Central Africa Republic.
Herve Renard is gunning for the coach-of-the-year award.
He is up against Hossam El Bady (Al Ahly) and Nabil Maaloul (Esperance).
Kalaba or Sunzu are tipped to win the award because the two players were instrumental both for their club TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Chipolopolo.
Sunzu converted the spot kick, which gave Zambia the Africa Cup trophy on February 12 in Libreville, Gabon, and on October 13 he scored the penalty, which booked Zambia’s ticket for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals billed for South Africa.
Zambia beat Uganda 9-8 on penalties at Kampala’s Namboole Stadium after tying 1-1 on aggregate.
Sunzu has also been named TP Mazembe player-of-the-year.
Kalaba played a pivotal role in Zambia’s success at the Africa Cup and he guided TP Mazembe to the semi-finals of the 2012 CAF Champions League where they lost 1-0 on aggregate to Tunisian side Esperance.
Aboutrika is considered an outsider in the race despite Al Ahly winning the CAF Champions League.
Egypt failed to qualify for the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
In the team event, Zambia are favourites to win after lifting the 2012 Africa Cup, 38 years after making their debut in Cairo.
Zambia beat Ivory Coast 8-7 on penalties after 120 minutes of action.
Last week Zambia was named the world’s second best team after Spain in a poll conducted by World Soccer publication.
Cape Verde has been nominated after stunning Cameroon 3-2 on aggregate to qualify for the soccer showpiece while Central African Republic, despite failing to make it to South Africa are among the finalists because of their good showing.
In the award for the coach, Renard is expected to triumph while El Bady will hope that the CAF Champions League victory will make him get the award.
The main spotlight, however, will be on the Ivorian pair Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure as well as Cameroonian Alexander Song, contenders for the flagship honour – the Africa-footballer-of-the-year.
Toure won the 2011 award.
Celtic Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama, Senegalese striker Moussa Konate (FC Krasnodar) and Egyptian Mohamed Salah of Swiss side FC Basel are running for the most promising talent award.