BREAKING: Moroccan Football Fans Fault Mo Salah’s Candidacy In African Footballer Of The Year Award - 247Updates
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BREAKING: Moroccan football fans fault Mo Salah’s candidacy in African Footballer of the Year Award

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According to Morocco World News, Egypt and Liverpool striker, Mohamed Salah does not merit to be shortlisted among the three players for African football’s most prized individual award.…CONTINUE READING

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Thursday released its list of the three football players in contention for the African Player of the Year award.

The list feature Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen as the other two final candidates. But the third player, Salah, did not sit well with Moroccan football fans who faulted CAF for overlooking Yassine Bounou despite the player’s stellar performances for both Sevilla and the Moroccan national team over the past year.

Bounou gained worldwide attention and admiration after his brilliant performances for Morocco at the World Cup in Qatar last year, where he played a major role in the Moroccan Atlas Lions becoming the first Arab and African national team to ever reach the semifinals of the global tournament.

He collected three “Player of the Match” awards during Morocco’s historic and odds-defying World Cup journey in Qatar, highlighting the importance of his impressive saves for the Moroccan national team.

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While the Moroccan goalkeeper now plays for Saudi club Al Hilal, he spent last season with Sevilla, where he was one of the Spanish club’s most reliable and outstanding performers.

Notably, he was consistently ranked as one of the best goalkeepers in the Spanish (and European) top flight, and won the Official UEFA Europa League Final Hakook Player of the Match for his match-winning performance against Roma in the Europa League final.

The recognition came after Bounou’s “decisive penalty saves” allowed Sevilla to beat Italian club As Roma the UEFA Europa League Final in Budapest.

Yet it seems the player’s impressive record in the 2022-2023 season is not enough for CAF to duly recognize him among the continent’s best performers for the past season.

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Many have taken issue with CAF’s decision to overlook Bono’s World Cup heroics for Morocco and his title-winning performances for Sevilla, describing the situation as “unfair” and “unjust.”

“I just realized the African Ballon d’Or is for the most popular players of the year. If we were to consider the best, Bounou should logically be at the top, and Salah applauding from his couch,” one commenter wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Another one questioned CAF’s decision to overlook Bounou and instead keep Salah in the three-name shortlist, pointing out that the Egyptian player’s performances with both Liverpool in the Premier League and his national team do not deserve a major award at the expense of more deserving candidates.

“No Bounou among the top three finalists!!! What did Salah do last season!!! No World Cup, not qualified in the Champions League, not the top scorer!!! CAF, African football,” one X user added.

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Another one sarcastically commented on Salah’s nomination, asking CAF: “Why was Mohammed Salah nominated? His only achievement is decorating a Christmas tree.”

Many reports have in fact criticized the Egyptian player’s performances in the past few seasons.

Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton slammed the Egyptian player during a game between Liverpool and Everton in October.

Speaking to talkSport, Houghton described Salah’s performance as “poor.”

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“I’ve got to be honest with you, what Mo has given Liverpool today, or what he’s not given Liverpool, I’ve not seen him play this bad in a long, long time,” said the former Liverpool player.

He added that Salah “looks so much off the pace of the game and his decision-making has been poor. He’s just forcing it at the moment and when you’re having a bad time you do that, you try a difficult ball rather than a simple one.”

Last year, sport-focused news outlet TeamTalk was among the outlets that criticized Salah for failing to not “hitting” the heights from previous seasons.

“But his and Liverpool’s start to the season has been disappointing. And some pundits have suggested that Salah has been asked to play wider this season,” the news outlet said.

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The Daily Mail also zoomed into Liverpool’s poor season earlier this year, emphasizing that there have been doubts that the club’s struggles were linked with Mo Salah.

The news outlet suggested that this was due to “heartbreaks” with his national team, where he also failed to take his national team to World Cup 2022 after losing to Senegal in the World Cup qualifying play-off.

Sky News also reported last year on Salah’s poor performances, writing: “His productivity has certainly dipped. The occasion of his 200th Premier League appearance also marked his fifth game without a goal in the competition, the second such run this season. That happened only twice in the previous five campaigns combined.”

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