Didier Drogba, right, was angered by the protocol
of the CAF [AFP]
The African football confederation have announced that anyone not attending a future African player of the year awards ceremony will not qualify for one of the honours.

The statement appeared to be in response to comments made by Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba, who has threatened to pull out of future events because he is angry with CAF for the way it handled last week's ceremony.

"Any player who is absent at its award ceremony will not be taken into consideration in its placements of best African footballer of the year," the confederation’s governing body said.

Drogba claims he was disqualified from this year's event because he couldn't attend last week's event in Lome, Togo, which borders Ghana but is several hours away by car.

He said CAF officials told him to attend Friday's ceremony or risk losing the top award.

The Chelsea striker and Ghana coach Claude Le Roy felt it conflicted with preparations for quarterfinal matches held on Sunday.

Le Roy was angry that midfielder Michael Essien made the trip and returned in the early hours of Saturday morning, a day before the quarterfinal match against Nigeria.

CAF defended the decision to hold the event in Lome.

"The absence of a player at such an important event constitutes lack of respect for the institution, political authorities represented by our various heads of state and millions of African football followers worldwide," CAF said.

Mali striker Freddie Kanoute won the award ahead of Essien, even though Drogba was the clear favourite.

Kanoute attended because Mali had been eliminated from the continental championship.

Source: Agencies