It’s Yaya! Ivorien emerges Africa’s football best

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

Manchester City’s  Yaya Toure was named African Player of the Year at an awards ceremony in Accra, Ghana, last night. The Ivorian won ahead of  Barcelona’s Malian midfielder, Seydou Keita and Ghana’s forward Andre Ayew, who plays for Marseille in Ligue 1. Toure expressed his delight at winning the prize. “”This award is not important for me alone. It’s for my country and my club too because it pushes us in many ways,” he said.

Harouna Doula, who manages the Niger national team, went home with the Coach of the Year prize at Thursday’s annual Confederation of African Football Awards, after he led the West African country to its first African Cup of Nations finals, qualifying from a group containing South Africa and record seven-time champion Egypt. Botswana won Team of the Year after it also qualified for its first African Cup.

Former Nigeria international, Jay Jay Okocha and Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji were honoured with African Legends Awards.

Here’s the full list of winners:

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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