Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba did not win the 2007 African Footballer of the Year award because he refused to attend Friday’s ceremony in Lome, his teammates claim.
A spokesman for the Ivory Coast claimed the Confederation of African Football had initially planned to give the award to the Chelsea player but decided not to after he refused to travel to the Togolese capital to collect it.
Drogba chose not to atttend the ceremony as he was preparing for Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Guinea.
The award went to Mali striker Frederic Kanoute – ahead of Drogba and his Chelsea teammate Michael Essien.
“CAF has brought itself into disrepute,” Ivory Coast team spokesman Jean-Claude Djacus said.
“They called Didier on the eve of the ceremony to tell him they would give the award to Kanoute if he did not come. Didier is now saying that he does not want to be part of the 2008 vote.”