ZAMBIAN midfielder, Rainford Kalaba has failed to make the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) final three-man shortlist for the 2013 Player-of-the-year based in Africa award.
Kalaba made the initial list of 21 players and even broke into the top five before finally falling out ahead of the GLO-CAF Awards Gala next week.
According to the final list released by CAF, Egyptian legend, Mohamed Aboutrika, who recently retired from football, with compatriot, Ahmed Fathy and Nigerian Sunday Mba, the scorer for the Super Eagles’ winning goal at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), will battle it out for the top slot.
Kalaba, after inspiring Zambia to a historic AFCON triumph in 2012, finished second for the Player-of-the-year based in Africa award behind Aboutrika with Chipolopolo defender, Stoppila Sunzu getting the third position.
Missing some of the key matches for both country and his DR Congo club, TP Mazembe because of injuries and other factors, could have been one of the reasons for the influential player’s failure to make the final three.
For the CAF flagship African Footballer of the Year, holder Yaya Toure with Ivorian compatriot, Didier Drogba and Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel will fight for the coveted top prize.
The 2013 GLO-CAF Awards Gala will be held on January 9 in Lagos, Nigeria.