The annual celebration of excellence in Africa’s brand of football was yesterday held at the Eko Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. The 2013 edition tagged the Glo/CAF award saw the Ivorian, Yaya Toure emerged African Player of the Year for the third consecutive time; beating Nigeria’s Mikel Obi and his compatriot, Didier Drogba to 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Though most Nigerians where disappointed to see Mikel Obi lose the prestigious award to Yaya Toure, they can take solace in the fact that the award somehow turned out to be a celebration of brand Nigeria’s football success in 2013. Supper Eagles coach Stephen Keshi was named African Coach of the Year, beating his compatriot Manu Garba who coached the Nigerian Under-17 team to World Cup glory last year. Keshi was definitely the most popular choice for the position after winning the 2013 African Nations Cup with an averagely inexperienced team.
The Super Eagles were named team of the year. The Nigerian supporters club won the Fair Play award, while Kelechi Iheanacho won the Most Promising Talent award for his exploit at the U17 World Cup in the UAE. The annual CAF XI also had three Nigerians; Mikel Obi, Vincent Enyeama, and Emmanuel Emenike, with Stephen Keshi as the team Coach. The team also included Ahmed Fathy, Mehdi Benatia, Kevin Constant, Yaya Toure, Mohamed Abou Trika, Jonathan Pitroipa, Asamoah Gyan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Egypt Al Ahly was voted the Club of the Year. They beat South African team Orlando Pirates and Tunisian club CS Sfaxien to the award. There was however a conspicuous omission by CAF, as the confederation does not deem it fit to celebrate Africa’s brand of women football.
The night was spiced with pizzazz and high-octane entertainment from Glo ambassadors including D’Banj, Lagbaja, Flavour, P-Square and Lira.