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06.02.2008 Cup of Nations

Drogba Vows To Boycott CAF Awards

By Daily Graphic
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Cote d'Ivoire striker Didier Drogba has vowed to boycott future Africa Footballer of the Year awards ceremonies because he says last week's award given to Frederic Kanoute was originally meant for him.The England-based player, who was not released for the event in Lome because of national team commitments, claims Kanoute won the award because of his absence.
The event was organised two days before the Elephants' quarter-final clash with Guinea in the MTN Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday and Drogba says the decision to strip him of the awards is bad for the image of African football.
"In my eyes this award has lost its value. I'm a simple player, the decision that I take doesn't hurt a lot of people," Drogba said.
"We're all working for the African continent, there's a huge media presence in Ghana for a competition that was heavily criticised 10 years ago.
"So there comes a time when we all have to pull together. I don't think this type of attitude honours Africa, so I've decided to pull out of future elections for the Africa Footballer of the Year Awards.
"I received a call in the afternoon of the day of the ceremony from a high ranking CAF official.
"He told me that if I didn't appear at the ceremony the rules would be changed, that I would no longer be first and that the prize would go to the runner-up, Frederic Kanoute."
Kanoute, who plays for Spanish side Sevilla, won the award with Drogba's Chelsea teammate Micahel Essien finishing second while Drogba took third place.
Drogba also criticised the staging of the awards ceremony during the MTN Africa Cup of Nations, saying attending the event in the Togolese capital would have been disrespecful to his Elelphants teammates.
"If I refused to go to Lome it was first for my teammates as you don't organise such an event just two days before a quarterfinal," the Chelsea striker said.
"I didn't go as well because the son of Ulrich Stilieke (the former Cote D'Ivoire coach) has died."Meanwhile, CAF has not released the list showing how national team coaches in the continent voted for the award as it has done in the past.
Source — MTNfootball.com


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