African football expert Mamadou Gaye says Alexander Song’s inclusion in the final shortlist for the African Player of the Year award smacks of nepotism of the highest order.
The Barcelona benchwarmer emerged as a surprise candidate for the prestigious personal accolade as a preferred choice over Ghana’s Andre Ayew and Zambia captain Christopher Katongo.
The 25-year-old in the season under review failed to qualify his country for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations while also winning nothing with his then club Arsenal.
The defensive midfielder despite this shambolic record made the final cut for the award which would be handed out in Ghana on December 20 alongside the Ivorian duo of Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba.
The development has drawn widespread criticisms of the award with many believing it’s credibility is totally lost – a view shared by Gaye – a sworn enemy of Ghana football.
But on this score, the Ivorian football expert agrees with the general view of the shameful nomination of Song – going further to state it was influenced by CAF President Issa Hayatou who is also a Cameroonian.
“The criteria is that Song is a Cameroonian and Hayatou (Issa) is a Cameroonian. As simple as that,” he said on the weekly Soccer Africa show.
Gaye’s assertion was unanimously shared by co-panelists Ida Peterside and Thomas Kwenaite who unanimously again predicted Didier Drogba to win the award.
Comments and contributions made by viewers across Africa was nothing less than shameful for the African football governing body especially with the omissions of Ayew and Katongo who can point to at least one achievement in the year under review.
Zambia’s historic Nations Cup feat in Gabon and Equatorial guinea was largely inspired by Katongo who scored three goals in that tournament.
Ayew on the other hand also emerged joint top scorer for the Black Stars who reached the semi finals of the last AFCON.