Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure has been crowned African Player of the Year for the third time in a row.
The 30-year old, who stars for English giants Manchester City picked up the topmost prize at the 2013 Glo-CAF Awards Gala held on Thursday, January 9 in Lagos, Nigeria.
He saw off competition from compatriot Didier Drogba and John Obi Mikel of Nigeria for the most prestigious individual honour in African football. Toure, who was crowned the finest player on the continent in 2011 and 2012, garnered 373 votes against 265 and 236 by Mikel and Drogba respectively.
The winner was decided by votes from the Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF.
The ceremony, to reward and celebrate players, officials and other stakeholders was attended by the crème de la crème of African football. Dignitaries who graced the event include CAF President Issa Hayatou, Executive Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola Raji Fashola, Nigeria’s Minister of Minister of Youth and Sport, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullah, CAF Executive Committee members amongst others.
For the Player of the Year (Based in Africa),Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika beat compatriot Ahmed Fathy and Nigeria’s Sunday Mba to the award. It was the fourth time, Aboutrika, who announced his retirement last December has annexed the prize after 2006, 2008 and 2012.
Despite missing out on the two flagship awards, Nigeria confirmed their dominance in the other categories. The Super Eagles were adjudged National Team of the Year and the Golden Eaglets (national U-17 team) as Youth National Team of the Year. The Super Eagles eased past Ethiopia and Burkina Faso to the prize whilst the Eaglets were the only nominee in their category.
Trainer Stephen Kechi was named Coach of the Year at the expense of compatriot Manu Garba and Burkina Faso head coach, Paul Put.
Teenager Kelechi Iheanacho scooped the Most Promising Talent gong, fending off challenges from Saleh Gomaa of Egypt and Ghanaian Ebenezer Assifuah.
The Nigeria Supporters Club also picked up the Fair Play prize to complete an impressive night for Nigeria.
Egyptian giants, Al-Ahly went away with the Club of the Year prize whilst Algerian Haimoudi retained Referee of the Year prize.
There were also posthumous Legends Awards for former Senegal coach, Bruno Metsu and former Morocco coach, Mehdi Faria, who both passed away last year. Metsu, who guided Senegal to the quarters at the 2002 FIFA World Cup had his prize received on his behalf by his wife, Viviane Dièye Metsu whilst Youssef Faria took on behalf of his father.
Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan was honoured with the Platinum Award for his support to the development of football in Africa’s most populous country.
The ceremony was spiced by musical performances from Nigerian talented performer and multiple award winner, D’ banj; masked one and Afro-Calypso originator, Lagbaja; Beninois songstress Zeynab, Africa’s sensational pop twins, P-Square, South African enigmatic singer Lira, prolific Nigerian recording artiste, dancer and songwriter, Flavour as well as Ghanaian performer Sherifa Gunu.
Ugandan comedian Patrick ‘Salvador’ Idringi get the audience cracking their ribs with his hilarious jokes before the swing act from German Marieke Koch and Pole Rangers – Eike von Stuckenbrok and Remi Martin completed the night of splendor and entertainment.
Player of the Year:
Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester City)
Player of the Year (Based in Africa)
Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt and Al-Ahly)
Most Promising Talent:
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
National Team of the Year:
Youth National Team of the Year:
Nigeria U-17 team
Club of the Year:
Coach of the Year:
Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)
Referee of the Year:
Haimoudi Djamel (Algeria)
Fair Play award:
Goodluck Jonathan (President of Nigeria)
Africa Finest XI
Goalkeeper: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathy (Egypt), Mehdi Benatia (Morocco), Kevin Constant (Guinea)
Midfielders: Jonathan Pitroipa (Burkina Faso), John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Mohamed Aboutreika (Egypt)
Forwards: Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)