Cote d’Ivoire’s Yaya Toure, who won the African Player of the Year back-to-back, has said that the award won Thursday will spur him to perform better in his chosen career.
The Manchester City midfielder beat fellow Ivorien, Didier Drogba to the award held at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra, Ghana.
An elated Toure while expressing satisfaction over his feat said: “It’s unbelievable to beat my country’s captain, Drogba to win the 2012 award. It’s a great achievement for me to win the award two consecutive times, and this will propel me to do more for Cote d’Ivoire at the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa, and my club in the English Premier League”.
It was, however, mixed feelings for Drogba, who moved from Chelsea to join Chinese club, Shanghai Shenhua in the summer, as he expressed sadness over his inability to clinch the award but declared that Toure deserved the award.
“It’s disappointing to have lost the title to Toure, again especially in a year that I believe I played my best football for Chelsea. But, I must concede the award to Toure, he worked hard for it,” Drogba said.
The African Player of the Year award –Africa based– was won by Mohammed Aboutreika of Egypt, while Rainford Kalaba of Zambia and Stoppila Sunzu of Zambia finished second and third. Al Ahly of Egypt won the Club of the Year award. Coach of the Year Award went to Zambia coach, Herve Renard.
Egypt’s Mohammed Salah won the Most Promising Talent award and Genovena Anoman of Equatorial Guinea went home with the Women’s Footballer of the Year award.
Referee of the Year award went to Djamal Alhaimoudi, while Rigobert Song of Cameroon and Mahmoud El-Gohar of Egypt were honoured with the Legend Awards.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons and Ghana U-17 team lost the Women’s National Team of the Year award to Equatorial Guinea. Zambia also won the National Team of the Year award ahead of Cape Verde and Cote d’Ivoire.
To add spice to the event, the likes of Nigerian musician, Bisade Ologunde known as Lagbaja, along with Yvonne Shaka Shaka of South Africa thrilled the audience with their performances. Lagbaja thrilled the audience with two tracks from his works African Calypso and Onigele that completely changed the atmosphere at the venue of the awards.
Chief sponsor of the event, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr., who was represented by Bode Opeseitan, lauded all the nominees and expressed great delight at the success record so far. “I believe that African football is growing and the competition for honours is getting keener,” Adenuga said.
CAF President, Issa Hayatou said watching the growth of African football gives him fulfillment, and praised Ghana for putting up a fantastic awards ceremony in Accra.
The event was anchored by former England international, John Barnes and Anita Erskine.