Drogba leads nominations for African award

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba insists he has settled his differences with the African Football Confederation (CAF) after being shortlisted once again for the continent's top playing award.

Drogba confirmed, should he win, he would be honoured to accept the accolade of African Footballer of the Year in March.

The Chelsea striker is one of the final three nominees for the 2009 award along with Michael Essien and Samuel Eto'o and was the winner in 2006.

However, the Ivory Coast striker was at the centre of controversy the following year when his participation in the African Nations Cup prevented him from attending the award ceremony in Mali.

It was believed that, because of his absence, Frederic Kanoute was named player of the year instead and Drogba withdrew from the running for future CAF awards.

But Drogba has now revealed bridges have since been built with CAF.

"That was the past," said Drogba. "We all sat down and spoke about it - Mr Hayatou (the CAF president) and the people from the Ivory Coast Federation - so I think everything is good now.

"It is a good trophy and a big honour for a player to win it, especially this year, which is so special for the African continent. To win it would be very nice."

Meanwhile, Chelsea continue to place little credence in reports their England midfielder Joe Cole is a transfer target for Manchester United.

The Blues, while not publicly commenting on the suggestion Cole will head for Old Trafford in the summer, were bullish enough to privately dismiss the prospect as nothing more than speculation.

However, the longer Cole does not resolve his contract impasse with Chelsea, the more feverish the transfer speculation will become.

Talks on a new deal for Cole have dragged on for weeks and are no nearer being concluded.

The 28-year-old will be out of contract in the summer and is desperate to convince England boss Fabio Capello he is worth a place in his World Cup squad this summer.

But Cole's form continues to fall under the spotlight and his removal at half-time in the 4-1 FA Cup victory over Cardiff last Saturday has not helped.

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti insists Cole is an integral part of his plans but the player has yet to force his way back into the side on a regular basis since recovering from his knee ligament injury last year.

Cole was beginning to show signs of returning to his best when he was affected by an unrelated knee injury that kept him out of the 2-1 defeat by Everton last week.

Cole would have been shocked to have been hauled off at half-time against Cardiff but Chelsea captain John Terry insists the player can bounce back.

"He had a problem last week with the other knee," said Terry. "But he was just beginning to buzz again - setting up the first goals against Birmingham and Burnley."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?