African champion Zambia, Ivory Coast, and minnows Cape Verde and Central African Republic have been nominated for the continent’s team of the year award.
The winner will be announced by the Confederation of African Football in December.
Zambia won its first African Cup of Nations title in February, beating a star-studded Ivory Coast team in a penalty shootout in the final in Gabon.
Cape Verde and Central African Republic both had breakthrough years in 2012. Cape Verde qualified for its first major tournament when it eliminated four-time champion Cameroon to qualify for next year’s African Cup in South Africa.
Central African Republic won its first World Cup qualifier this year and beat former powerhouse Egypt in Cup of Nations qualifying.
Botswana was the 2011 African Team of the Year.