The Glo-CAF nominees for the best African player this year was pruned down to three. Mohammad Aboutrieka was dropped of the list. Four out of the five players were from the European leagues and only Aboutrieka made the top five. Nwankwo Kanu of Nigeria/ Portsmouth was the other player dropped off the list. The list now includes Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast/ Chelsea, Michael Essien of Ghana/ Chelsea and Samuel Eto'o of Cameroun/ Barcelona.
Mohammad Aboutrieka's exclusion shows the CAF's bias for the bigger European leagues. Aboutrieka took Al Ahly to the FIFA Club World's Championship where his superb skills earned Ahly a third place finish, the best in the history of African club soccer. He also got Al Ahly their record fifth Africa Cup of Nations and the CAF Champions League title in 2005 and 2006 with his goals.
The CAF again nominated Samuel Eto'o whose injuries have kept him on the Barca bench for a long time. Eto'o is a great player but to win an award like this, productivity should be of prime consideration. In fact, Frederic Kanoute has a better case for nomination bringing Sevilla to the top of the La Liga with his goal scoring. The only problem is that he plays for Mali, a country that is mostly overlooked in African soccer.
Mohammed Aboutreika's exclusion from the African player of the year award is a disgrace. The CAF award should be given to the player who made the most impact on African soccer. Aboutreika single handedly put African club soccer on the world map leading Al Ahly to international glory. He is a low profile player known for his humility and dedication to the game. He leads a club that apart from a few exceptions, consists of Egyptian players. Al Ahly games are rarely shown on European TV channels but we get to see Drogba and Essien every weekend. Obviously CAF believes that high profile soccer stars playing in the bigger leagues deserve more.