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Our players won CAF’s award without controversy, says Laloko

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Former Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Kashimawo Laloko, has expressed sadness over Super Eagles players not picking any award at the Aiteo CAF Awards held in Accra, Ghana.

Mohamed Salah of Egypt stole the show, as he won the prize for the best player on the continent. He defeated Sadio Mane of Senegal and Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the second and third positions respectively.

Moses finished fourth in the CAF’s award and was conspicuously absent from the Africa best eleven team selection. The nation’s forward and former junior international, Junior Ajayi, who plays for Egypt’s Al Ahly, was among the All-star team.

Re-stating his displeasure, Laloko said CAF’s pattern of voting, is completely different from that of the FIFA, which is better.

“What is realistic would have been for the CAF technical committee members to select players that will stand for the final vote. The way CAF does its own is not the way it is done by FIFA as FIFA allows only members of the technical committee to pick according to the laid down rules.

“What they do in CAF is subjective. Moses did well in the year under review, so also Sane and Salah. Since Salah has been picked, it is their choice, and there is nothing we can do about that. It means we have to work harder to convince them next time that our player can be the best in Africa,” he said.

Laloko, who is the former coach of The Gambia, however, added that CAF’s system encourages sentiment along the Francophone, Anglophone and Arab lines.

“As we can see now, everybody seems to be holding to his or her own child. The French speaking countries now vote for their own likewise the English and the Arabs.

“When we won the award, here we are talking about players, who are reliable and regular for their countries and clubs. Our players were absolutely consistent and good. But now, we are no more there.

“When players like Rashidi Yekini, Victor Ikpeba, Emmanuel Amuneke and Kanu Nwankwo won the award, nobody contested it unlike now. We need to start pushing our players to the world; it is not enough to just discover them from the grassroots, but to also help them for the world to see them. We have to help ourselves, but now nobody wants to help anyone,” he stated.


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