The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has disowned a purported list of players named for the 2010 African Player of Year which was originated by MTNFootball.com.
The publication has seriously infuriated Glo, the sponsors of the event, who are archrivals of MTN in the telecommunications industry in West Africa.
MTNFootball.com, which is owned by South African giants MTN, published on Sunday that 17 players were included in the preliminary list that is dominated by Ghanaians and Ivorians.
The Ghanaian quartet of Kevin Prince Boateng, Michael Essien, Kwadwo Asamoah and Asamoah Gyan were named in the list.
Other keys players like Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Seydou Keita and Emmanuel Adebayor were named in the list with Mikel Obi’s exclusion raising eyebrows.
The publication seems to have denied Glo the media publicity opportunity it gains from its scheduled events to unveil the list.
Caf, the continent’s governing body, has now distanced itself from the list insisting that it did not leak the information.
“CAF wishes to state clearly that the list did not emanate from its offices as there are known procedures for the listing of nominees for the awards,” Caf said in statement.
“In the last five years, CAF and Globacom Limited, sponsors of the award ceremony have consistently announced the list through scheduled media events and the same procedure will be followed for the 2010 awards nominees.
“In addition, such a list if authored by CAF and Globacom will be posted on the official websites of the two organizations and this has not been the case in respect of the list making the rounds.
“We therefore urge the general public and the football community to disregard the said list circulating in some media circles.
“CAF will in the days ahead use appropriate channels to unveil the list of leading nominees.”
With only Mikel Obi and Andre Ayew exclusions as the only exception, it is hard to believe that the list to be published by Caf would be any different.
Even though Caf has denied the list, it could have been leaked from the confederation’s headquarters or from some members of the body’s football committee which draws up the list.
MTNFootball.com are independent of the parent company as professional journalist run their football website.
But Glo officials are said to be enraged over the publication especially when their main rivals in key markets like Nigeria and Ghana published the list.
MTN have made serious inroads in the African football market via their soccer news website
MTNFootball.com is one of the leading websites on African football news which has given it the opportunity to enter the football sponsorship market without paying huge amounts of money.
The South African outfit was the sponsor of the Caf Africa Player of the Year as well as the African Cup of Nations and Champions League.
But Caf handed the award ceremony to Glo in 2008 while the Nations Cup and Champions League was given to Orange, a rival telecommunications firm mainly operating in French countries.