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."

Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff