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16.10.2008 Cup of Nations

Essien bounces back… In CAF awards

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle

Injured Ghanaian international star, Michael Essien has been short listed for the 2008 Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Best Player Award. Essien currently nursing an injury that has taken him out of action until December is among five of the players short listed for the award at the event slated later for the year.

This is the third time the Ghanaian has been short listed though he is yet to win the prestigious award. The former BBC's African Player of the Year competes alongside Chelsea's team mate Didier Drogba (Cote d'Ivoire), Mohamed Aboutreika (Al-Ahly, Egypt), Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal, Togo) and Amr Zaki (Wigan Athletic, Egypt), for the Glo-CAF Best Player across the world.

The shortlist for the Glo-CAF Best Player on the Continent are Mohamed Aboutreika (Al- Ahly, Egypt), Ahmed Hassan (Al-Ahly, Egypt), Flavio Amado (Al-Ahly, Angola), Tresor Mputu Mabi (T.P. Mazembe, DR Congo) and Stephen Worgu (Enyimba, Nigeria).

Announcing the shortlist at the Mike Aduga Towers, Lagos, on Tuesday, CAF Director of Communications, Sulemana Habuba also announced innovations in the event to make it prestigious.

He mentioned the creation of Glo-CAF Best Player on the Continent and Glo-CAF Best Player across the World as the innovation.

The continental award would be decided by votes from coaches of the group phase clubs of the CAF-MTN Champions League whilst the coaches of the 53-National associations affiliated to CAF, voting for the best player across the world.

The Media and Technical Committees nominated the shortlist for the two awards.

The final three of the two categories would be named before the Awards Gala fixed for Cotonou, Benin in December 2008.

This is the fourth time the Nigeria-based cellular giants would be sponsoring the annual event since 2008. Mali's Frederic Kanoute won the flagship award held in Togo last year.