Former Nigerian International, Adegoke Adelabu, has described as complex, the criteria for the award of the African Footballer of the Year.
He accused the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of being inconsistent in its judgment over the years, especially in the current one.
CAF recently dropped Victor Moses from the list. The final three-man shortlist now has Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, and Senegal’s Sadio Mane that will be decided on January 4, 2018 in Ghana.
Moses supposedly looked set to win the laurel having helped English Premier League’s Chelsea FC win the league, and also putting up a splendid display as Super Eagles qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia. Kanu Nwankwo won the award 18 years ago.
Though Salah and Mane were also the stars for their countries during qualification for the Mundial, Moses’ league winning feat seemed enough to give him the award. Aubameyang’s success is only limited to his German Cup’s victory for his club.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Adelabu said, “The way CAF does its things now looks so complex, and we will continue to argue over it since we do not know how they arrive at their decision. I do not think that they are quite objective in their judgment.
“Their decision is subjective and that means that they may be wrong in their choice. But that won’t change what Moses has achieved, or what he will become in future. Definitely, some of us may disagree with their final outcome,” he said.
Adelabu, who played for the then Green Eagles as a winger, said he has always known that the award has always been based on a player’s performances for both club and country.
“The issue is that CAF has its own usual criteria, which is shortlisting the players, whose performances in a given year are considered outstanding, both for their nations and club sides. In other words, the performance of a player in respect to what they are able to achieve with their clubs and nations.
“You can say a player is very good; that he scores goals; then the question you ask is what is the cumulative effect of the goals he has scored on the entire performance of the team? It is always difficult to look at a player in isolation, because a player must be judged based on what he has been able to accomplish for his club and country.
“I think that is one of the reasons why CAF removed some players’ names from the initial shortlist, before coming up with the final shortlist, from where the eventual winner will emerge. It is a very difficult thing and the fact is that it is not done by one person because a lot of people have to vote. Nobody knows what they consider, but when you look at a player’s performance in a given year, you would see the reason why some of us may differ with CAF’s decision atimes, but what can we do? It is their game,” he stated.