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Date: 25 September 2017

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Toure edges Dede Ayew to the African crown

[Posted 22 Dec 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Toure edges Dede Ayew to the African crown

Ivory Coast and Manchester City's gifted midfielder Yaya Toure won a tight contest with Ghana and Marseille's Andre 'Dede' Ayew to be crowned as the CAF Footballer of the Year for 2011, at a result announced during the CAF Globacom Awards on Thursday night at the Banquet Hall, State House in Accra Ghana.

After CAF whittled down the main short-list to only three easily recognisable names, Toure, Ayew and Seydou Keita of Mali and Barcelona, the spotlight fell on Dede and Yaya, especially following the BBC's announcement that the son of Ghana legend Abedi Pele Ayew had won the BBC African Footballer of the year award on Friday 16 December.

While Keita featured in an all-conquering Barca during the 2010/2011 Spanish Primera season and UEFA Champions league campaigns, the Malian  did not illuminate his league in the manner Dede and Toure have done for Marseille and Man City respectively.

Dede, in particular was outstanding for Marseille when they came close to winning the title in Ligue 1 last season, and has been instrumental in the former French champions' decent performances in the Champions league, leading to qualification for the last 16.

Ayew was one of the outstanding young players at the Fifa 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. He played brilliantly for Ghana alongside Asamoah Gyan and Kevin Prince Boateng in the Black Stars attempt to qualify for the semi-finals, only to fail to do so under very painful circumstances following controversial striker Luiz Suarez' hand of God act which denied the Ghanaians and sent Uruguay through.

Yaya has played a huge role in Man City topping charts in England, and has not only created goals, but has scored crucial goals himself to aid his club's rise to the top of the charts this season. His contribution to Ivory Coast has not been very outstanding though.

Whether Yaya deserved to be named Africa's finest for the year 2011 is really debatable. Anyway, the coaches and other selectors have spoken. Maybe they have a point.

Surprise winners in the other categories included Niger coach Harouna Doula who won coach of the year award in Africa for guiding his country to gate-crash into the African Cup of Nations finals in 2012.

Botswana's Stanley Tshosane appeared to be the odds on favourite to win coach of the year award, having led his country to qualification with such commanding performances against  formiddable sides such as Tunisia, Togo and Malawi.

It is not clear if CAF selectors were attempting to achieve a regional balancing act, by ensuring that both the coach of the year and team of the year awards should not go to Southern Africa. Otherwise how does one explain that a coach who led modest Botswana to Afcon qualification and winning Team of the Year, fails to land coach of the year award?

Someone should explain what the Niger coach did better than Tshosane in guiding Niger to AFCON finals. After all, Niger needed some computation of results in order for them to emerge as top team, while Botswana's Zebras qualified with two games to spare.

Now, if that performance cannot win an unknown entity, a local coach like Tshosane an award, then one wonders if there was any other coach who deserved the award in the first place. 

Other winners in various categories include:

African-based Player of the Year: Oussame Darragi (Tunisia)
National Team of the Year: Botswana
Women's National Team of the Year: Cameroon
Club of the Year: Esperance ST (Tunisia Caf Champions League winners)
*Most Promising Talent: Souleymane Coulibaly (Ivory Coast and Tottenham Hotspur)
Coach of the Year: Harouna Doula (Niger)
Women's Footballer of the Year: Perpetua Nkwocha (Nigeria)
Referee of the Year: Noumandiez Doue (Ivory Coast)
Special recognition Legend: Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha (Nigeria) and Mustapha Hadji (Morocco)

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