History was knocking at the doors of the footballing Ayew family in Ghana but it was Ivorian Yaya Toure who got the key to the CAF room to pick the 2011 African Player of the Year Award.
Ghana and Marseille’s midfielder Andre Dede Ayew was in contention for the CAF African player of the year 2011 but was beaten by Manchester City’s Yaya Toure. Malian Seydou Keita was also a contender.
However, Dede Ayew was recently crowned the 2011 BBC African Player of the Year ahead of Yaya Toure. Ayew’s father, Abedi “Pele” Ayew, won the inaugural BBC award in 1991.
If Dede Ayew, 21, took the top CAF prize, his family – Ayew – would have been the first family ever on the continent to win the individual award in terms of club and country.
His father Abedi Pele Ayew won two of his three CAF top awards when playing for Marseille in both 1991 and 1992. Abedi’s third CAF award was in 1993 when he played for another French side Olympique Lyonnaise.
At the awards gala night held December 22, 2011 in Accra, Ayew appeared with a delegation including his father Abedi Pele and kid-brother and playmate Jordan Ayew, according to CAF online.
An emotional Toure, spotting a brown ‘boubou’ after receiving his prize from the CAF President Issa Hayatou assisted by Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado is quoted by CAF online as saying “I am very happy to win the award. I feel proud of this special day. I thank my family; wife and kids for their support. I am also grateful to my brother (Kolo Toure), my teammates (Club and national team) and the Ivorian Football Federation for their role in this feat.”
This is the third time the award has being staged in Ghana after 2006 and 2009.
Surprisingly, all three have been won by Ivorians. Didier Drogba of Chelsea won it in 2006 and 2009 with Yaya Toure, 28, taken the 2011 edition becoming the second Ivorian after Didier Drogba to win the most prestigious individual honour in African football.
Three Ghanaian players – Harrison Afful, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Andre Dede Ayew were selected to the 2011 Africa Best XI.
The Africa Best XI players are:
Samir Aboud (Libya), Harrison Afful (Ghana), Banana Yaya (Cameroon), Ayoub Eikhiqi (Morocco), Taye Taiwo (Nigeria), Seydou Keita (Mali), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana) Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire), Andre Ayew (Ghana), Moussa Sow (Senegal) and Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon).
By Ekow Quandzie