Drogba rejected for award after Togo travel wrangle

The Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba did not win the 2007 African Footballer of the Year award because he refused to attend Friday's ceremony in Lome, his team said yesterday.

The Confederation of African Football had planned to give the award to the Chelsea forward but decided not to after he said he would not travel to the Togolese capital to collect it, according to the Ivory Coast team spokesman Jean-Claude Djacus.

Drogba, who scored the Ivory Coast's second goal in the 5-0 quarter-final thrashing of Guinea in the African Nations Cup on Sunday, told organisers that his wife would attend the ceremony on his behalf, but he was told she would not be welcome. The award went instead to the Mali striker Frédéric Kanouté.

"CAF has brought itself into disrepute," Djacus said. "They called Didier on the eve of the ceremony to tell him they would give the award to Kanouté if he did not come. Didier is now saying that he does not want to be part of the 2008 vote."

The Ivory Coast coach, Gerard Gili, hailed his players' composure after the win over Guinea. The Elephants struggled until Chelsea striker Drogba scored the second goal on 70 minutes. It was then all too easy for the Ivorians, who added three within 13 minutes through two from Chelsea's Salomon Kalou and one from Bakary Kone.

"It was very complicated until our second goal," Gili said. "Guinea was causing us trouble and until we doubled our lead, there was a chance they would equalise on the counter-attack."

Ivory Coast opened the scoring in the 25th minute with an Abdelkader Keita goal but then failed to convert their chances, with Aruna Dindane missing an open goal after dribbling past the Guinea 'keeper Kemoko Camara.

"Somehow, we managed to be patient and my players held their composure. They were very thorough and I want to congratulate them for that," said Gili. "The first half was hard," said the Arsenal centre-back Kolo Touré, who was on the bench. "When we were 2-0 up, it became quite easy but before that, I can tell you it was very complicated." Touré said he should be fit again for Thursday's semi-final in Kumasi.

In Sunday's other quarter-final, 10-man Ghana came from behind to beat their arch-rivals Nigeria 2-1. Ghana's win sent thousands of fans out on to the streets of Accra to celebrate, some carrying replica coffins covered in the green and white of Nigeria.

"It's a fantastic team effort, they are really 11 heroes," said the Ghana coach, Claude Le Roy, who criticised the second-half sending off of defender John Mensah for a professional foul on Peter Odemwingie.

"John did not make a single mistake in the game and I have seen players not sent off for professional fouls much worse than that," he said.

His counterpart at Nigeria, Berti Vogts, whose team managed only three goals and failed to reach the last four for the first time in five Nations Cup tournaments, said: "We made one or two mistakes and that is not allowed in international football. I'm very disappointed."

Yesterday's results

Egypt (2) 2 Angola (1) 1

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Life and Style
The spring/summer 2015 Louis Vuitton show for Paris Fashion Week
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?