Don't give CAF award to Yaya


Yaya Toure, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mohamed Salah are among the star names to be nominated for the 2015 CAF Player of the Year award.

The  Confederation of African Football has named 37 players on its shortlist for the continent's most prestigious individual award, with the eventual winner to be named on December 22.

Toure has taken out the last four CAF Player of the Year awards. If he makes it five in succession this year, he will hold the outright record over Samuel Eto'o, who has also won it four times.

Although the Manchester City midfielder won the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast this year he has been short of his best form for both club and country and I think it will be a travesty if he wins the individual prize, having been short of his best form at club level.

There is stiff competition. Aubameyang, who finished second last year, scored 25 goals for Borussia Dortmund last season. He has already struck 14 times in all competitions so far this term.

Former Chelsea winger Salah enjoyed an excellent second half of 2014-15 with Fiorentina before signing for Roma in the close-season.

I think the outstanding candidate is Andre Ayew and that it will not only be a travesty if he does not win, but that a fifth win for Yaya will damage the credibility of the award in the same way that the FIFA World Player of the Year has been tarnished with it's Messi-Ronaldo fixation.

Ayew helped Ghana reach the afcon final and unlike Toure was in good form along the way. Domestically he has taken to the more visually prominent English Premier League like a duck to water and has been in some of the best form of his life since August.

So why might this not be enough for Ayew to win?

The African Footballer of the Year award has been presented to the best African footballer each year by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 1992. An earlier African Footballer of the Year Golden Ball award was given out between 1970 and 1994 by France Football magazine.

There is a rival award run by the BBC and the table below compares the CAF award with the BBC winners since the turn of the century.

Year

BBC award

CAF award

2000

Patrick Mboma

Patrick Mboma

2001

Sammy Kuffour

El Hadji Diouf

2002

El Hadji Diouf

El Hadji Diouf

2003

Jay Jay Okocha

Samuel Eto'o

2004

Jay Jay Okocha

Samuel Eto'o

2005

Mohamed Barakat

Samuel Eto'o

2006

Michael Essien

Didier Drogba

2007

Emmanuel Adebayor

Frederic Kanoute

2008

Mohamed Aboutrika

Emmanuel Adebayor

2009

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba

2010

Asamoah Gyan

Samuel Eto'o

2011

Andre Ayew

Yaya Toure

2012

Christopher Katongo

Yaya Toure

2013

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure

2014

Yacine Brahimi

Yaya Toure

The BBC award was launched as the BBC African Sports Star of the Year award in 1992, when Ghanaian footballer Abedi Pele was the inaugural winner. It was in 2000 that  the prize was transformed into its current format.

With the BBC award after a poll of football journalists from every country in Africa, a shortlist of five players is announced - whereupon the public determines its best for a calendar year.

CAF go the same route as FIFA. The winner is decided by votes from the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF.

Just as with the World Player of the Year award it means there is a total lack of imagination shown by the collegiate.

Take 2013 when Toure won his third straight title. Toure also won December's BBC African Footballer of the Year award  so  some would say it was thoroughly merited given the purple patch he was in form wise with Manchester City. That said he failed to impress at the African Cup of Nations won by Nigeria, just like fellow nominee Didier Drogba who was now with Galatasaray. The other player on the shortlist was Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi who had been instrumental in the Super Eagles afcon triumph as well as featuring in Chelsea's Europa League triumph. Nigerian fans called foul long into the night.

Now look at the BBC list. You can always place together both form and achievement. 2000, Mboma at the Olympics and an afcon triumph. Take 2002 and an afcon and World Cup quarter-final for Diouf.

There are 37 names on the CAF long list. Give the award to anyone but Yaya.


CAF Player of the Year 2015 shortlist in full: Ahmed Musa, Andre Ayew, Aymen Abdennour, Baghdad Bounedjah, Basem Morsi, Christian Atsu, Dieumerci Mbokani, El Arbi Hillel Soudani, Faouzi Ghoulam, Ferebory Dore, Gervinho, Ibrahima Traore, Javier Balboa, Heldon Ramos, Mame Diouf, Max Gradel, Mehdi Benatia, Modather Al Tayeb, Mohamed Salah, Nicolas Nkoulou, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Robert Kidiaba, Rudy Gestede, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Serge Aurier, Seydou Keita, Sofiane Feghouli, Stephane Mbia, Thievy Bifouma, Victor Wanyama, Vincent Aboubakar, Vincent Enyeama, Yacine Brahimi, Yannick Bolasie, Yasine Chikhaoui and Yaya Toure

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