20 February 2010

Drogba ends feud with African confederation

LONDON (AP)—Didier Drogba has ended his feud with the African Football Confederation (CAF) and said it would be an honor to win the 2009 African Footballer of the Year award.

The Ivory Coast striker was named on the final shortlist for the continent’s top individual prize this week, alongside Chelsea teammate Michael Essien of Ghana and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o.
Drogba was voted Africa’s best player in 2006 but was beaten to the award by Frederic Kanoute in 2007 when he missed the awards ceremony in Mali.
Drogba was playing in the African Cup of Nations in Ghana at the time.
Drogba subsequently removed himself from contention for future African awards to protest CAF’s insistence on nominees attending the ceremony.
But in an interview with Chelsea TV, which will be broadcast later on Friday, the 31-year-old forward said he spoke to CAF president Issa Hayatou and the disagreement has been resolved.
“That was the past,” Drogba said. “We all sat down and spoke about it, Mr. Hayatou and the people from the Ivory Coast Federation, so I think everything is good now.”
Drogba also said he was excited by the chance to win the award for a second time. The forward helped his country qualify for the World Cup in South Africa.
“It is a good trophy and a big honor for a player to win it,” Drogba said. “Especially this year, which is so special for the African continent. To win it would be very nice.”
The 2009 CAF Awards, which also include the African team of the year, will be chosen by a vote of Africa’s national coaches and announced in Ghana on March 11.


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