Wednesday, December 12, 2007

African Player of the Year Shortlist

Some old faces, some new names in the Confederation of African Football's shortlist for the 2007 African Player of the Year.

Reigning African Footballer of the Year Didier Drogba will be up against his Chelsea team mate Michael Essien, Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and the Spanish-based pair of Frederic Kanoute and Mahamadou Diarra for the award which will be given out in February.

Kanoute, who helped Sevilla win the UEFA Cup in 2007, could become the first European-born player to win the title. Kanoute was born near Lyon and played for France at junior levels before switching his international allegiance to Mali in 2004.

Real Madrid's Diarra helped Mali qualify for the African Cup of Nations while Adebayor's performances with Arsenal catapulted him onto the list. There's controversy with the lanky striker from Togo as Adebayor boycotted several international matches this year in an on-going dispute over money with his country's football federation.

The winner will be announced at the annual Confederation of African Football awards ceremony, scheduled for Feb 1 in Lome, Togo.

The winner is voted for in a poll of coaches of the 53 African national teams. The five finalists were chosen by an initial vote of CAF committee members.

Good luck, all!

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