Time to change criteria for African best player

    By Prince Dulzy

    For the past four years, there has been only one best player, one Yaya Toure.

    Firstly, let me start off by saying congratulations to Yaya Toure. No one else deserves the award more than him. The man is a magical footballer. There might be criticism for any other African player who wins the award, but when it comes to Yaya I think there is a universal agreement that he is the best player at the moment.

    But why should an individual playing outside Africa win the African footballer of the year.

    Would you agree with those saying they are confused as to whether CAF really appreciate those playing in Africa? Or simply African football is dead.

    I believe it is time for CAF to change the criteria and give the award to individuals who plays in Africa.

    The Ballon d’Or criteria has changed so please CAF change yours. There is no more Ballon d’Or but rather UEFA Footballer of the year, which means only those playing in Europe can win that award.

    CAF simply stands for Confederation of African Football which simply means that all their affairs in terms of football cannot go beyond Africa.

    Just think about this, UEFA awarding European best player to a European who is playing outside Europe, maybe in America or even in our own Africa terrain. I don’t think it will ever happen. CAF please learn the good things from the Europeans, and let us appreciate and be proud of what we have.

    We can as well adopt the criteria of the South Americans, no player outside South America can ever win the South American Best Player (South American Ball d’Or).

    No wonder arguably the greatest of all time Lionel Messi has never won it even after winning four FIFA Ballon d’Or.

    Ronaldinho recently won the South American Best Player in 2013 but that was after returning to South American’s side Atlético Mineiro. He never won when he played for PSG and Barcelona.

    The same as Juan Sebastián Verón, who never won when he played for Lazio, Manchester United and Internazionale, but after returning to Estudiantes, he won back-to-back in 2008 and 2009.

    The wonder boy Neymar won back then in 2012 with Santos but I bet you he will never win again. His focus should now be on the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

    It is never too late, we can start from next year.  Currently, according to CAF only coaches can vote, and you can see the trend, there is too much bias in the whole system.

    Coaches are not supporting who they believe to be the best man, but simply lobbying for a countryman as long as he is on the list.

    This trait is even shown in the just ended CAF awards – check African Player of the Year.

    Mr CAF President, we can avoid this partiality and make the award more transparent, hence less open to outside manipulation.

    First of all we can adopt the system of the South Americans, meaning only individuals playing in Africa can win the award. I hope it makes sense, it is CAF African Player of the Year – this is no big grammar.

    Another way could be to prohibit coaches from voting for their countryman.

    If we think we cannot get the best players on our continent, then there is no point playing leagues – African football is dead.