Drogba explains award snub
Didier Drogba has explained why he was not chosen as the African Footballer of the Year.
Last Updated: 04/02/08 8:59pm
Didier Drogba has confirmed he was not named African Footballer of the Year because he refused to attend the presentation ceremony.
An Ivory Coast spokesman claimed earlier on Monday that the award was stripped from Drogba due to the striker not being able to turn up for the prize-giving.
Sevilla and Mali star Fredi Kanoute was eventually given the award, with Chelsea hit-man Drogba explaining the chain of events.
"I received a call in the afternoon (on Friday) from a high-ranking CAF official," Drogba told reporters in Ghana on Monday.
"He told me that if I didn't appear at the ceremony the rules would be changed, that I would no longer be first and that the prize would go to the runner-up, Frederic Kanoute."
Drogba eventually came in third in the voting, but expressed his surprise at the timing of the ceremony just two days before the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.
"Aside from the vote it was what was said that surprised me," added Drogba.
"We're all working for the African continent, there's a huge media presence in Ghana for a competition that was heavily criticised ten years ago.
"So there comes a time when we all have to pull together. I don't think this type of attitude honours Africa, so I've decided to pull out of future elections for the Ballon d'Or.
"In my eyes this award has lost its value. I'm a simple player, the decision that I take doesn't hurt a lot of people.
"If I refused to go to Lome it was first for my team-mates as you don't organise such an event just two days before a quarter-final."