JOHANNESBURG — Marseille winger Andre Ayew, Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita and Manchester City's Yaya Toure were named as finalists for the African Player of the Year award on Wednesday.
Ghana's Ayew, Mali's Keita and Ivory Coast's Toure will vie for the continent's top player prize at a ceremony in Accra, Ghana on Thursday.
The Confederation of African Football had named a shortlist of five nominees, but Cameroon captain and Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto'o and Lille's Senegalese international Moussa Souw did not make the final list.
Favorite Ayew, who just turned 22, is the son of former Ghana great Abedi Pele and picked up the BBC's African Footballer of the Year award last week, 20 years after his father won it while also playing for Marseille.
He has scored six goals in 17 games for Marseille this season and also helped Ghana to qualify for next month's African Cup of Nations finals.
The 31-year-old Keita won Spain's La Liga, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup with Barcelona in 2011. Mali also qualified for the African Cup.
Toure, 28, has been a key figure in Manchester City's rise to the top of the English Premier League and scored the only goal as City won May's FA Cup final — the club's first major trophy in nearly 40 years.
He also scored in Ivory Coast's final Cup of Nations qualifier as the favorite reached the Jan 21-Feb 12 tournament with a perfect record of six wins from six qualifying games.
The player award — which was won by Eto'o last year — is voted on by the head coaches of Africa's national teams.
Ivory Coast, Tunisia and African Cup debutants Botswana and Niger were nominated for the National Team of the Year prize.
Botswana's Stanley Tshosane, Niger's Harouna Doula and Nabil Maaloul of African club champions Esperance will contest the Coach of the Year.