Unusual Silence From CAF Leaves Observers Wondering Whether 2021 Awards Gala Will Ever Be Held

After the cancellation of the 2020 ceremony, football stakeholders keen to know if last year's top performers will be feted.

The Confederation of African Football has maintained an unusual silence regarding the annual Caf Awards last held in January 2020 to honour the continent’s outstanding players of 2019.

Liverpool and Senegal forward Sadio Mane and his Barcelona and Nigeria counterpart Asisat Oshoala were crowned Africa’s men and women’s Player of the Year, respectively, at the awards gala held at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh Resort in Hurghada, Egypt.

In what was the 28th edition of the awards, Algeria’s Djamel Belmadi was named Coach of the Year after leading the Desert Foxes to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title while Paris Saint Germain right-back Achraf Hakimi received the Young Player of the Year gong.

However, since then, the ceremony has not been held. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic which made gatherings impossible but Caf promised to hold the two subsequent events, having received assurances from their sponsors.

“Cancellation of the 2020 edition. Major partners for the event, Pickalbatros Group, has re-affirmed their contractual commitment towards the next two editions,” Caf said in a statement on their website, while announcing the cancellation of the 2020 event.

But two years later, nothing has been forthcoming with the African football governing body maintaining silence on the matter.

Two months ago, there were reports that Caf was determined to hold the awards before the end of March and that what was delaying it was the unavailability of a suitable venue, but that did not materialise.