Nigeria legend, Emmanuel Amuneke, and Ivory Coast superstar, Didier Drogba, have been named by FIFA as members of a panel to shortlist candidates for the 2018 Best FIFA Awards.
Amuneke was a member of the Super Eagles squad that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia and went on to be one of Nigeria’s top performers in the USA 1994 World Cup, where he scored twice.
Drogba, on the other hand, led Ivory Coast to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament, and also scored their first goal. He also captained the side at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.
The duo, alongside former footballers like England’s Frank Lampard, Brazil’s Kaka et al, will decide the top nominees and winners of the 2018 FIFA Men’s Players and Coaches of the year; while another panel will decide that of Women’s players and coaches.
There are also panels for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award, the FIFA Puskás Award and the FIFA Fan Award.
The world football governing body made the announcement on their website on Wednesday, adding that the judges will shortlist 10 candidates for each category, and the list will be unveiled on July 23, 2018.
“With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ currently showcasing the finest footballing talent on the planet, the race for the Best FIFA Football Awards is even more intense and the showpiece event will take on added significance when it returns to London for a second time on 24 September 2018,” FIFA wrote.
Below are the panels for the various categories as listed by FIFA.
BEST FIFA MEN’S JUDGING PANEL
Sami Al-Jaber (KSA)
Cha Bum-kun (KOR)
Didier Drogba (CIV)
Wynton Rufer (NZL)
Frank Lampard (ENG)
Fabio Capello (ITA)
Carlos Alberto Parreira (BRA)
Alessandro Nesta (ITA)
Lothar Matthaus (GER)
Emmanuel Amunike (NGA)
Andy Roxburgh (SCO)
BEST FIFA WOMEN’S JUDGING PANEL
Belinda Wilson (AUS)
Sun Wen (CHN)
Jacky Shipanga (NAM)
Clementine Toure (CIV)
Mia Hamm (USA)
Andrea Rodebaugh (MEX)
Diego Guacci (CHL)
Patrick Jacquemet (FRA)
Maia Jackman (NZL)
Anna Signeul (SWE)
Nadine Kessler (GER)
FIFA PUSKÁS AWARD JUDGING PANEL
Alex Scott (ENG)
Miroslav Klose (GER)
David Trezeguet (FRA)
Aline Pellegrino (BRA)
Iker Casillas (ESP)
Marco van Basten (NED)
Pablo Aimar (ARG)
BEST FIFA GOALKEEPER AWARD JUDGING PANEL
Vítor Baia (POR)
Peter Schmeichel (DEN)
Jorge Campos (MEX)
Gordon Banks (ENG)
Rinat Dasayev (RUS)
Mark Schwarzer (AUS)
Rene Higuita (COL)
Diego Forlan (URU)
Frederic Kanoute (MLI)
Alessandro Altobelli (ITA)
FAN AWARD JUDGING PANEL
Homare Sawa (JPN)
Christie Pearce Rampone (USA)
Lucas Radebe (RSA)
Christian Karembeu (FRA)
Bora Milutinovic (SRB)
Lindsay Tarpley-Snow (USA)
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