TAYO OJEWUNMI / AIPS inLAGOS: Yaya Toure, the Manchester City and Cote d’Ivoire attacking midfielder, beats compatriot Didier Drogba andNigeria’s Mikel Obi to claim the CAF African Footballer of the Year for the third consecutive time.
At an awards gala at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, the 30-year-old set a record as the first Ivorian to win it for a record third time, overtaking Didier Drogba who won it twice.
Despite Chelsea’s Mikel Obi not winning the coveted trophy to local disappointment, it was a good night for Nigeria which won most of the other awards.
Last year was certainly a good one for Nigerian football as two major trophies won (Cup of Nations and World U-17s) and the national team qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil and CHAN finals in South Africa.
Scooping the coach of the year wasNigeria’s Stephen Keshi who broke a jinx by winning the African Cup of Nations after a 19-year wait. He also guided Nigeria to the World Cup in Brazil and the Championship of Africa Nations (CHAN) for the first time which runs in South Africaf rom January 11 to February 1.
Award winners and nominees:
Player of the Year: Yaya Toure (Cote d’IvoireandManchesterCity)
Nominees: Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoireand Galatasaray FC), John Mikel Obi (Nigeriaand Chelsea FC)
Player of the Year (Based in Africa): Mohamed Aboutrika (Egyptand Al-Ahly)
Nominees: Ahmed Fathy (Egyptand Al-Ahly), Sunday Mba (Nigeria)
Most Promising Talent: Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
Nominees: Ebenezer Assifuah (Ghana), Saleh Gomaa (Egypt).
National Team of the Year:Nigeria
Youth National Team of the Year: Nigeria U-17 team
Club of the Year: Al-Ahly (Egypt)
Nominees: CS Sfaxien (Tunisia),OrlandoPirates (South Africa)
Coach of the Year: Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)
Nominees: Manu Garba (Nigeria), Paul Put (Burkina Faso)
Referee of the Year: Haimoudi Djamel (Algeria)
Nominees: Alioum Neant (Cameroon), Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
Fair Play award: Supporters Club ofNigeria
CAF Legends: Bruno Metsu and Mehdi Faria.
Platinum Award: Goodluck Jonathan (President ofNigeria)
Goalkeeper: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathy (Egypt), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco), Kevin Constant (Guinea)
Midfielders: Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso), John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Mohamed Aboutreika (Egypt)
Forwards: Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Coach: Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)