Kanoute wins top Africa award

Mali's Sevilla forward Fredi Kanoute is named African Footballer of the Year.

    Mali's Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute, left, has been an influential player for both club and country [AFP]

    The African Footballer of the Year award is voted for by the national coaches of the 53 CAF associations.
     
    Kanoute, who was born in Lyon, played for his native France as a junior international before switching allegiance in 2004 to Mali, the country of his father.
     

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    He is the first Malian to win the award since Salif Keita took the inaugural title in 1970.
     
    The CAF honour came three days after Mali were eliminated from the African Cup in Ghana, with Kanoute injured in their last game against the Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
     
    Drogba had been nominated mainly on the strength of his form in the English Premier League and European competition for Chelsea.
     
    His goals kept the London club in the Premier League title race last season and also helped them lift the FA Cup, with the Ivorian scoring the only goal of the final against Manchester United at Wembley.
     
    Ivory Coast named best team
     
    The timing of this year's ceremony drew criticism, as it clashes with Africa's showpiece tournament, with Essien refused permission by Ghana to travel the short distance to neighbouring Togo for the ceremony.
     
    On Sunday, Essien's Black Stars play Nigeria in a quarter-final in Accra, while Drogba will lead the Ivorians against Guinea in Sekondi.
     
    In other award categories, Ivory Coast were named African team of the year and Tunisia's Etoile Sahel, African Champions League winners, were voted club of the year.
     
    Armine Chermiti, Etoile striker, was named the best African club competition player, while the Young African Player of the Year award went to Zambia's Clifford Mulenga.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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