/ Soccer

Drogba heads African award shortlist

Updated: Saturday, 04 Dec 2010 15:10

Chelsea's Didier Drogba will be looking to win the African Player of the Year award for the third time
Chelsea's Didier Drogba will be looking to win the African Player of the Year award for the third time

Reigning African Player of the Year Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast heads a five-man short-list that was named today for the 2010 award.

The Chelsea striker is part of a trio of Barclays Premier League players in the running for the continent's top individual prize, with countryman and club team-mate Salomon Kalou also named.

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan, who moved to Sunderland in the summer, is another contender, as is 2003, 2004 and 2005 winner Samuel Eto'o from Cameroon and Seydou Keita of Mali.

The list will be narrowed down to three players on 11 December before the winner is crowned at the final awards ceremony in Cairo nine days later.

Winners are decided by votes from national coaches of Africa's 53 countries affiliated to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Drogba, who also won the award in 2006, will be looking to join Eto'o as a three-time winner.

Both played leading roles to help their respective countries qualify for the World Cup in South Africa earlier this year - the first ever finals on the African continent.

But they were overshadowed by Gyan, whose goalscoring exploits in the tournament took the Black Stars to the quarter-finals where they were eventually beaten on penalties by Uruguay.

Amongst the other major awards to be handed out in Egypt will be Young Player of the Year, with Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese and Ghana), Ryad Boudebouz (Sochaux and Algeria) and Moussa Maazou (Bordeaux and Niger) all in contention.

Algeria, Egypt and Ghana are vying for National Team of the Year, while the Coach of the Year award will be contested between Lamine N'Diaye, who led TP Mazembe to the African Champions League title, Milovan Rajevac - the man who masterminded Ghana's World Cup campaign - and Egypt's Hassan Shehata.

Alain Dioko (TP Mazembe), Mohamed Gedo and Ahmed Hassan (both Al-Ahly) are nominated for best African-based Player, while CS Sfaxien (Tunisia), FUS Rabat (Morocco) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) will be aiming to win best club side of 2010.

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