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Caf nominates Tabitha Chawinga

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Malawi women’s football star, Tabitha Chawinga, has said she feels honoured to be nominated for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Women’s Footballer of the Year Award—the first Malawian to earn such recognition.

On Monday, Caf unveiled Chawinga as one of the nominees for the continental award after her impressive performances in Sweden where she top-scored with 26 goals in 22 games, despite her team, Kvarnsvedens IK, being relegated from the top-flight league.

The former Lilongwe’s DD Sunshine striker said she was happy to earn the nomination alongside Nigerian Asisat Oshoala, who plays for Dalian Quanjian (China), Rutendo Makore (Zimbabwe and Black Rhino), Chrestina Kagtlana (South Africa and UWC Ladies) and Cameroonian Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene of Rossyanka (Russia).

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“It is an honour for me. I will continue working hard. I am so happy because I am recognised as one of the best footballers in Africa and in Europe,” the she-Flames’ Captain said.

National Women’s Football Association Chairperson, Severia Chalira, said she was proud of the talented forward whose skills include, dribbling and scoring from all angles.

“We are really happy that Tabitha is doing well. She is one of the best players in Africa and we believe [that] she will continue working hard to achieve more,” Chalira said yesterday.

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DD Sunshine Head Coach, Andrew Chikhosi, who is credited for grooming Chawinga into a prolific striker, said he was not surprised by her exploits in Europe.

“She has all the talent to play for any team in the world. Definitely, Tabitha is the next big thing [waiting to happen] in women’s football from Africa,” Chikhosi said.

Last week, the 21-year-old striker, born in Rumphi District, won the Sweden Best Forward of the Year Award after beating Fifa Best Player of the Year, Lieke Martens, and France’s Montpellier’s Stina Blackstenius.

In a statement released on Monday, Caf announced that the winners would be decided by votes from the members of Caf Technical and Development Committee, Caf media panel, independent media and television consultants.

The gala will take place on January 4 2018 in Accra, Ghana.

Chawinga became the first Malawian women footballer to sign for a professional club in 2014 when she joined Krokom/ Dvassarts of Sweden from DD Sunshine.

Despite joining the league while in progress, she won the Golden Boot Award with 38 goals.

Malawi’s Flames former forward, the late Clifton Msiya, was the last Malawian footballer to be named among Caf’s best players in the history of the continental body.

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