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Gabadinho Mhango sniffs Caf award

Shortlisted, invited to awards ceremony

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Alfred Gunda

This is it! Flames striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango has been shortlisted among the players competing for the Goal of the Year award.

Gabadinho has been formally invited for the actual Caf 2022 Awards ceremony slated for Rabat, Morocco, tomorrow.

The practice is that those in the top three are invited for the actual event.

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However, communication from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) addressed to Football Association of Malawi (Fam), which Times Sport has seen, did not indicate if the Flames striker is in the top three.

“We would like to inform you that as part of the voting process of the Caf Awards 2022, Mr Hellings Frank Gabadino Mhango has been shortlisted. In consequence Caf is extending him a formal invitation to attend the ceremony. Kindly, assist us in confirming his presence and giving us the desired travel itinerary to/from Morocco as well as providing us with his passport for the necessary travel arrangements,” reads the communication reads.

Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda confirmed receipt of formal invitation for the striker ahead of the ceremony.

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“We are working on sending all the necessary details to Caf. I do not know how many of the nominees are invited to the event but Caf will be responsible for his travel,” Gunda said.

Caf last week released a list of 10 nominees for the inaugural award.

The list comprises high-profile goals namely Zouhair El Moutaraji’s strike against Al Alhly in this year’s Caf Champions League.

Other nominees are Ellyes Skhiri, Ben Malango, Sanaa Mossoudy, Adama Congo and Ousmane Sakho.

The fans have been part of the selection process of the best goal of the year as their voting will carry 70 percent weight on the final decision of the winning goal.

However, the former Orlando Pirates striker, who won the golden boot award in 2019 in the DStv Premiership with 16 goals, was not readily available for his comment yesterday.

Fam President Walter Nyamilandu Manda is also expected to attend the ceremony in Morocco tomorrow.

In an interview Tuesday, Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica said Gabadinho’s goal deserves to win the award.

“It would be fantastic for Gaba and Malawi football if he wins the goal of the year award. It is even more deserved as we worked on it during training before the game. Then, Gaba had the skill to identify the moment and execute to perfection. So, it was not a fluke,” Marinica said.

The Amazulu striker scored a stunner in the 2-1 loss to Morocco during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 match.

During the ceremony, Caf will also award African player of the year, interclub player of the year and coach of the year, among others.

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