- Title: TOGO: Mali's Frederic Kanoute named African Footballer of the Year
- Date: 5th February 2008
- Summary: (AD1) LOME, TOGO (FEBRUARY 1, 2008) (REUTERS) STAGE BEFORE AWARD IS ANNOUNCED FREDERIC KANOUTE IS ANNOUNCED AS THE WINNER OF THE AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF YEAR AWARD VARIOUS OF KANOUTE WALKING AND GREETING CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL (CAF) PRESIDENT ISSA AYATOU AND TOGO'S PREMIER MINISTER KOMLAN MALLY KANOUTE RECEIVING THE AWARD VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE MEMBERS (SOUNDBITE) (French) AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF YEAR, FREDERIC KANOUTE, SAYING: "I was in competition with very big players and it's an honour for me to receive this prize and even more of an honour and privilege to receive a prize and recognition which represents Africa because I believe that today anyone who can contribute to the development of Africa through sport or any other means is doing something positive." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT THE AWARDS CEREMONY KANOUTE LEAVING CEREMONY
- Embargoed: 20th February 2008 12:10
- Location: Togo
- Country: Togo
- Topics: Sport
- Reuters ID: LVAB3GVMRSHE38FQ04IX6C1ZPH7G
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: African Footballer of the Year awards were recently held in Togo's capital, Lome amidst criticism over the ceremony's timing coinciding with the Cup of Nations. The top honour went to Mali striker Frederic Kanoute whose team however did not qualify for the quarter-finals.
CAF, the Confederation of African Football, announced on Friday (February 1) Mali striker Frederic Kanoute as the 2007 African Footballer of the Year.
The Sevilla forward is the first European-born player to win the award after beating off competition from Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba and Michael Essien of Ghana.
Kanoute was nominated for his role in helping Mali qualify for this year's African Nations Cup finals and triumphs last season with Spanish club Sevilla in the UEFA and King's Cups.
The African Footballer of the Year award is voted for by the national coaches of the 53 CAF associations.
Kanoute played for his native France as a junior international before switching allegiance in 2004 to Mali, his father's country.
He is the first Malian to win the award since Salif Keita took the inaugural title in 1970.
"I was in competition with very big players and it's an honour for me to receive this prize and even more of an honour and privilege to receive a prize and recognition which represents Africa because I believe that today anyone who can contribute to the development of Africa through sport or any other means is doing something positive," he said.
The award came just days after Mali were eliminated from the African Nations Cup finals in Ghana with Kanoute injured in their last game against the Ivory Coast.
Drogba had been nominated mainly on the strength of his form in the English league and European competition.
His goals kept Chelsea in the Premier League title race last season and also helped them lift the FA Cup, with the Ivorian scoring the only goal of the final against Manchester United at Wembley.
The timing of this year's ceremony drew criticism with Essien being refused permission by Ghana to travel the short distance to neighbouring Togo for the ceremony.
Other awards were given to the Ivory Coast as the African Team of the Year and Champions League winners Etoile Sahel of Tunisia as the Club of the Year.
Etoile Sahel striker Armine Chermiti was named the Best African Club Competition Player and Zambian Clifford Mulenga Young African Player of the Year.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None