Three Nigerian players have been included in the long list of 34 nominated for the 2012 African footballer of the year by the continent's premier football bodyNigerian players John Obi Mikel, John Utaka and Victor Moses have been announced in the long list of 34 players that will compete for the African footballer of the year title of the Confederation of African Football on Thursday evening.
Mikel has been nominated based on the strength of his winning the FA Cup and Champions League with Chelsea. Utaka won the French Ligue 1 with Montpellier while Moses was nominated based on his performance at Wigan where he helped the club to escape relegation.
The Nigerians will be contesting against the usual suspects - Cote d'Ivoire's Didier Drogba, reigning African king Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Arouna Kone, Cheick Tiote and Seydou Doumbia.
Reigning African champions Zambia have four players on the list: Christopher Katongo, Stopilla Sunzu, Emmanuel Mayuka and Rainford Kalaba.
Three Ghanaians Andre Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu make the list while there are two Cameroonian representatives in Alexander Song and Nicolas Nkoulou.
Morocco is represented by Abdelaziz Barrada, Adel Taarabt and Younes Belhanda while Senegal have Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Moussa Konate and Moussa Sow on the long list.
Tunisians Aymen Abdennour and Youssef Msakni as well as Malians Bakaye Traore and Seydou Keita join the list.
Perhaps interesting to note on the list are the Central African Republic duo of Foxi Kethevoama and Hilaire Roméo who saw to the elimination of Egypt from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.
The awards will hold at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra, Ghana on December 20.
FULL LIST OF NOMINEES
1 Abdelaziz Barrada Getafe Morocco
2 Adel Taarabt Queens Park Rangers Morocco
3 Alain Sibiri Traore FC Lorient Burkina Faso
4 Alexander Song Barcelona Cameroon
5 Andre Ayew Marseille Ghana
6 Arouna Kone Wigan Cote d’Ivoire
7 Aymen Abdennour Toulouse Tunisia
8 Bakaye Traoré A.C Milan Mali
9 Cheick Ismael Tioté Newcastle United Cote d’Ivoire
10 Christopher Katongo Henan Construction Zambia
11 Demba Ba Newcastle United Senegal
12 Didier Drogba Shanghai Shenhua Cote d’Ivoire
13 Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu Udinese Ghana
14 Emmanuel Mayuka Southampton Zambia
15 Foxi Kethevoama FC Astana Central Africa
16 Gervais Lombe Yao Kouassi Arsenal Cote d’Ivoire
17 Hilaire Roméo Verdi Momi Le Mans Central Africa
18 John Obi Mikel Chelsea Nigeria
19 John Utaka Montpellier Nigeria
20 Kwadwo Asamoah Juventus Ghana
21 Moussa Sow Fenerbahçe Senegal
22 Nicolas N’koulou Marseille Cameroon
23 Papiss Demba Cissé Newcastle United Senegal
24 Pape Moussa Konaté FC Krasnodar Senegal
25 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Laval Gabon
26 Rainford Kalaba TP Mazembe Zambia
27 Seydou Doumbia CSKA Moscow Cote d’Ivoire
28 Seydou Keita Dalian Aerbin Mali
29 Sofiane Feghouli Almeria Algeria
30 Stoppila Sunzu TP Mazembe Zambia
31 Victor Moses Chelsea Nigeria
32 Yaya Toure Manchester City Cote d’Ivoire
33 Younes Belhanda Avignon Morocco
34 Youssef Msakni Esperance Tunisia