The highlight of the award was Mohammed Salah taking home the biggest individual prize of African football, the African Player of the Year award. 

Mohamed Salah won the biggest award of the night (Twitter/CAF)
Twitter/CAF

But before Salah was called on stage to collect his second consecutive African Player of the Year award, a series of event had taken place to mark the 2018 CAF Awards. 

The 2018 CAF Awards kicked off as early on Sunday, January 6 with the press conference of the African Football Legends. 

Legends present

As part of the activities to mark 2018 CAF Awards, a legends’ game between Senegal’s class of 2002 against a selected African legends XI was introduced in honour of late Senegal football legend Jules Bocande

On Monday, January 7, the African legends in town toured Goree Island in Dakar, Senegal. The likes of Mark Fish, Samuel Eto’o, Mohamed Aboutrika, Anthony Baffoe, El Hadji Diouf among others. 

African women football legends like the likes of Mercy Akide (Nigeria) were also present. 

In Gorée Island, another press conference was held with a press conference that was attended by President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad and top officials of the confederation.

The legends’ game between Senegal’s class of 2002 against a selected African legends XI held on Monday night. 

Representing the XI of Senegal’s class of 2002 were some of the players that took the country to the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan. Tony Silva, Habib BeyeLamine Diatta, Pape Malick Diop, Diouf, Salif Diao, Amdy Faye, Moussa Ndiaye, Alassane Ndour, Khalilou Fadiga, Aliou Cisse, Souleymane Camara etc. 

The African legend XI had the likes of Didier Drogba, Antoine Bell, Eto’o, Jimmy Adjovi-Boco, Titi Camara, Hazem Emam, Cyril Domoraud, Aboutrika, Mustapha Hadji, Nouridine Naybet, Fish, Geremi Njitap, Gilberto, Victor Ikpeba, Frederic Kanoute, Michael Essien, Patrick M'Boma, Emmanuel Amunike and Kanu Nwankwo

President of Liberia George Weah who played for the likes of AC Milan, Monaco and Chelsea and won the Ballon d’Or in 1995 was present at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium to watch the game. 

The African XI won the game 3-2 with the likes of Drogba and Essien on the scoresheet. 

AFCON 2019 host

Before the big night, the CAF executive met on Tuesday morning to decide on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) host. 

They were scheduled to make the decision on Wednesday but rather brought it forward to have a vote which Egypt won to get the hosting right of AFCON 2019. 

The 2018 CAF Awards culminated with the big night which was hosted by former CNN anchor and TV personality Isha Sesay and Senegalese journalist Aboubacry Ba. 

Winners

President George Weah and CAF boss Ahmad Ahmad present the biggest award of the night to Mohammed Salah (EPA)
EPA

Women’s Team of the Year 2018: Nigeria

Men’s Team of the Year 2018: Mauritania 

African Women’s Coach of the Year 2018: Desiree Ellis 

African Men’s Coach of the Year 2018: Hervé Renard

Tessema Award: Mr. Fouzi Lekjaa

African Youth Player of the Year 2018: Achraf Hakimi 

African Best XI: Onyango, Aurier, Benatia, Bailly, Koulibaly, Partey, Keita, Mahrez, Salah, Aubameyang, Mane 

African Women’s Player of the Year 2018: Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana

African Player of the Year 2018: Mohamed Salah