Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure made it two titles in a row by winning the 2012 African Player of the Year at a glamorous Glo-CAF Awards Gala in Accra on Thursday at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra. The votes from the Head Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF determined the winner.
Toure was crowned the best African player at a colourful ceremony attended by the crème de la crème of African football officials, current and former players and administrators. Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado and Minister of Communication, Haruna Iddrisu graced the event as did CAF President Issa Hayatou and members of the CAF Executive Committee.
Top international musicians who performed included Salif Keita, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Nigerian afrobeat musician Lagbaja and Ghanaian songstress, Irene Logan.
The back to back titles put the 29-year-old into the company of Senegal’s El- Hadji Diouf and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o who achieved similar feats. The Manchester City player beat his compatriot Didier Drogba who finished second with Cameroon’s Alex Song coming third
Drogba whose last kick for English club , Chelsea won the European Champions League for the Blues in a penalty shoot-out also scored in FA Cup win for Chelsea but Toure’s immense contribution in helping Manchester City win their first domestic championship in 44 years saw him pick up Africa’s most prestigious individual award
Egyptian and Al Ahly midfielder Mohamed Aboutreika was crowned African player of the Year Based in Africa. The 34-year old bagged his second title after winning the same award in 2008.
Reigning African champions Zambia won the National Team of the Year award after their heroics of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and it was no surprise either that their charismatic coach, Herve Renard walked away with the Coach of the Year award for steering Chipolopolo to their maiden Africa Cup of Nations title.
Equatorial Guinea playmaker Genoveva Anonma was adjudged Women’s Footballer of the Year for her exploits with club and country. Her goals helped Equatorial Guinea win their second African Women’s Championship this year. Egypt’s Mohamed Salah scooped the Most Promising Talent of the Year and Algeria’s Haimoudi Djamel as Referee of the Year.
CAF Champions League winners’ Al Ahly of Egypt was adjudged Club of the Year whilst Gabonese national team supporters grabbed the Fair Play award.
The late Egyptian football icon Mahmoud El Gohary was posthumously awarded with the Legend Awards in recognition of his contribution and dedication to African football. Rigobert Song of Cameroon was also presented with Legend Awards for his contribution to the game over the years.
This is the fourth time the award was being staged in Ghana after 2006, 2009 and 2011.
Below is the full list of award winners:
Africa Player of the Year – Yaya Toure
Africa Based Player of the Year – Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt)
Fair Play award – Gabon National team supporters
Coach of the Year – Herve Renard
National team of the Year – Zambia
Women’s National Team of the Year – Equatorial Guinea
Club of the Year – Al Ahly (Egypt)
Referee of the Year – Haimoudi Djamel (Algeria)
Most Promising Talent of the Year – Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Women’s Footballer of the Year – Genoveva Anoman (Equatorial Guinea)
Legend Award – Mahmoud El-Gohary (Egypt)
Legend Award – Rigobert Song (Cameroon)
Platinum Award – John Mahama (President of Ghana)
Africa’s Best XI:
Goalkeeper: Lutunu Dule ( Congo)
Defenders: Ahmed El- Basha (Sudan), Walid Hicheri (Tunisia), Stoppila Sunzu (Zambia), Ahmed Fathi (Egypt)
Midfielders: Mohamed Aboutreika (Egypt), Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Alex Song (Cameroon), Younes Belhanda (Morocco)
Forwards: Didier Drogba,(Cote d’Ivoire), Christopher Katongo (Zambia)
Coach: Herve Renard (France)