Drogba named for award he wants nothing to do with

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba was shortlisted on Tuesday for this year's African Footballer of the Year award despite saying he did not want to be associated with the prize.

The Chelsea striker was named by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as one of five candidates for the 2008 award, along with club mate Michael Essien and Arsenal’s Togolese international Emmanuel Adebayor.

Egypt striker Amr Zaki (Wigan Athletic) and Mohamed Aboutrika, who scored the winning goal for the Pharoahs in February’s African Nations Cup finals were also nominated.

Drogba, the winner in 2006, had been expected to take it again in 2007 but it was given to Mali’s Frederic Kanoute instead when Drogba refused to travel to Togo for the award ceremony in February.

Drogba said he had been told by CAF officials he would not get the award if he did not attend the gala. He did not attend the ceremony as it was held just two days before the Ivory Coast’s quarter-final match in the Nations Cup tournament against Guinea.

"I have therefore decided not to be part of the vote for the next African Footballer of the Year award. I feel that the contest has lost its worth," Drogba said at the time.

This year’s finalists were chosen by a panel of members of CAF’s media and technical committee. The national team coaches of Africa’s member countries will now vote for the winner.