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CAF Plans to Scrap the African-Based Player of The Year and Referee of The Year Awards Category


CAF president Mr Ahmed Ahmed has come out to explain the body’s decision to scrap off the African Footballer of the Year based in Africa and Referee of the year from its 2017 edition.

Despite releasing a shortlist of 10 footballers and referees, the continent’s football governing body decided to drop the categories which prompted several stake holders to demand for explanations.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on the eve of the awards, CAF president Ahmed Ahmed finally explained the scraping the African Footballer of the Year based in Africa saying,

“It’s very simple, we want to promote African football. There’s no two levels of football in Africa. Best is best, not best for the bad or best for the best. That’s the reason”.

 “We don’t have two bests, the players based in Africa are also capable of winning the African Player of the year Award, so there’s no need to categorize them”. he added.

On why CAF scrapped off the referee of the year award, Ahmed noted that the referees don’t need awards because officiating the biggest events on the continent and abroad is already a reward to the best officials.

“The best referees have their awards by being recognized for high profile games so they need no award again. … -say for example the Champions League Quarter finals and the subsequent games”.

“Another argument is that it’s unethical, the committee believes that by giving referees awards, it may encourage some corruption at a later stage.” Ahmed added.

Uganda’s goalkeeper Denis Onyango who scoped the honor last year will officially be the last player to receive the African-based Player of the Year award while Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will be the last to receive the Referee of the Year Award.

Gabon’s Aubameyang, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Senegal’s Saido Mane will battle it out for the prestigious African player of the year Award while Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene from Cameroon, Asisat Oshoala from Nigeria and Chrestina Kgatlana from South Africa face off for Women Player of the year.

The winners of the awards will be announced today on Thursday 4th January in Accra.

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