Who Wins Glo-CAF Awards Tonight ?




who is whoThe Nigerian city of Lagos is choke-full and running over with excitement as it gets set to stage the 2013 Glo-CAF Awards at the plush Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, tonight.

The potentially enthralling showpiece has seen days of frenetic preparations – all geared towards giving its eminent guests including CAF President Issa Hayatou a never-to-be-forgotten event.

After a tedious brain-storming session of picking-and-pruning, Ghana’s skipper Asamoah Gyan and a host of other continental greats were ‘flushed out’ from the list of nominees for the CAF African Best Player Awards – leaving Cote d’Ivoire’s duo of Gnégnéri Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba as well as Nigeria’s Obi Mikel to battle for the ‘Holy Grail.’

Drogba, 2006 and 2009 African Footballer of the Year, has been in fine fettle for his Turkish club Galatasaray which he inspired to the European Champions League Group stage. Indeed, in October 2013, Drogba became the first African footballer to win the prestigious Golden Foot while playing for his Turkish club Galatasaray.

The 35-year-old former Chelsea legend also spearheaded The Elephants to the Brazil 2014 World Cup tournament.

Mikel, who is chasing his first biggest individual award on the African scene, also played a key role in Nigeria’s qualification to the Brazil Mundial as well as Chelsea’s entry into the Euro Champions League last year.

Indeed, Mikel – 2005 CAF Most Promising Talent winner, is a reigning African champion with Nigeria – having won the African Nations Cup and the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013 – a year Toure grabbed nothing. Thus, arguably, his current exploits with a resurgent Chelsea side led by supreme tactician Jose Mourinho, stands him in good stead to garner home the individual honour.

Toure, who plays for English side Manchester City, has won the African award in each of the last two years held in Accra – and is also favoured to snatch it for a third consecutive time after sterling performances for club and country.

If he is able to make it tonight, that would see the 30-year-old Ivorian match the dazzling feat of Samuel Eto’o – winner in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Eto’o, now of Chelsea, has won the award four times overall but was not nominated this time.

Toure is known for his physical presence which is often combined with lung-bursting runs from midfield, and has been referred to as a “human train” and a “colossus” by various pundits.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Under-20 bronze-winning squad member, striker Ebenezer Assifuah, who emerged top scorer at the World Youth Championship in Turkey in June last year, will be in contention for the Most Promising Talent award together with Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Saleh Gomaa of Egypt.

Assifuah,  who has since joined Swiss side, FC Sion, banged home six spectacular goals to swagger away with the Golden Boot award in Turkey. He became the second Ghanaian to win the prize at the youth level after Dominic Adiyiah crushed in eight goals to snap it in 2009.

Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hero, Sunday Mba, was also unveiled along with Egyptian Al-Ahly’s duo of Mohamed Aboutrika and Ahmed Fathy in the top three finalists for the Africa-based ‘Player of the Year’ Award.

The ultimate winner of the award will be decided by votes from the head coaches or the technical directors of the national associations affiliated to CAF.

The CAF Awards, which Globacom has sponsored since 2005 is Africa’s biggest football fiesta which celebrates achievement and excellence in the game of football throughout the continent and beyond.

As usual, the event is expected to attract a rich assemblage of top football stars, administrators, managers and government officials from across Africa.

OTHER CATEGORIES 

 National Team of the Year

Burkina Faso
Ethiopia
Nigeria

Youth National team of the Year

Nigeria U-17

Club of the Year

Al Ahly
CS Sfaxien
Orlando Pirates

Fair Play Award

Nigerian Supporter

 Coach of the Year

Manu Garba
Stephen Keshi
Paul Put

 Most Promising Talent

Ebenezer Assifuah
Saleh Gomaa
Kelechi Iheanacho

Referee Award

Alioum Neant
Haimoudi Djamel
Papa Bakary Gassama

Legend Award

Bruno Metsu
Mehdi Faria

By John Vigah

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