Boisterous Nigerian and Chelsea fans were left licking their wounds yesterday January 9, 2014 when favourite homeboy John Mickel Obi watched stonefaced as Ivorian Yaya Toure picked the coveted African player of the year award. The occasion was the annual GIO Confederation of African football (CAF) annual awards that took place at a star studded ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria. The Ivorian midfield player who plays for Manchester City became only the third player to win the trophy three times in a row after Ghanaian Abedi Pele and Samuel Eto’o Fils from Cameroon and ends 2013 on a high for the Ivorian who was also voted BBC African player of the year by listeners of the BBC World Service radio.
Nigerian fans were disappointed Mikel did not win after he was tipped favourite (mostly by Nigerian papers) and Chelsea flew him to Nigeria in a private jet to attend the ceremony also sure their star would win. Their campaign failed miserably. Nwanku Kanu was the last Nigerian who won the trophy and that was way back in 1999.
Though Nigeria lost out on the African player of the year and its junior equivalent, the African player of the year based in Africa, last year’s African champions still managed to win four other trophies and was the most decorated country in African football on the night.
Super Eagles team coach and a former International Stephen Keshi won the coach of the year trophy after the team surprised everyone by winning the African Nations cup 2013; Nigerian teenage star Kelechi Iheanacho was named Most promising player, the Nigerian under 17 team carried home the Youth National team of the year while Nigerian supporters club won the fair play prize. Embattled Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan was given CAF platinum award while Nigeria completed the raft of honours when CAF named three of its nationals in the Africa 11 team; goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, John Mikel Obi and Emmanuel Emenike.
Not surprisingly, Nigerian musicians topped the list of entertainers during the award ceremony with music from high profile stars including Flavour Nabania, P Square, D ‘Banj, masked Afrobeat musician Lagbaja . Lira from Souh Africa, Sherifa Gunu from Ghana and Zeynab from Benin also performed during the award ceremonies gala.
Here with the complete list of winners on the night.
Player of the year
Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast and Manchester City)
Player of the year (based in Africa) Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt and Al Ahly)
Most Promising Talent
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
National team of the Year
Nigeria (Super Eagles)
Youth National Team of the year
Nigeria U 17 team
Club of the year
Al Ahly (Egypt)
Coach of the Year
Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)
Referee of the year
Haimoudi Djamel (Algeria)
Fair play award
CAF Legends (Lifetime achievements)
President Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria)
Africa’s Best Eleven
Goalkeeper: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
Defenders: Ahmed Fathy (Egypt) Mehdi Benaia (Morocco) Kevin Consant (Guinea)
Midfielders: Jonathan Pitriopa (Burkina Faso) John Mikel Obi (Nigeria) Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt)
Forwards: Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria) Asamoah Gyan (Ghana) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)