Yaya Toure says the decision not to award him the African Footballer of the Year for a fifth successive year has brought “shame to Africa”.
The Manchester City and Ivory Coast midfielder finished as runner-up behind Borussia Dortmund and Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Toure, who had been awarded the accolade every year since 2011, was complimentary towards Aubameyang, but appeared to think his achievement as the Africa Nations Cup-winning captain was not sufficiently recognised.
“I am very, very disappointed. It’s sad to see Africa react like this, not giving any importance to African (competitions),” the 32-year-old told French radio station RFI. “I think it brings shame on Africa. It is indecent. What can we do? We, Africans, we do not show that Africa is important in our eyes. We prioritise external achievements over our own continent. It is lamentable.”
Last January, Toure captained Ivory Coast to their second Africa Cup of Nations title, scoring a penalty in their 9-8 shootout win over Ghana in the final in Equatorial Guinea. Toure made his comments after the awards ceremony in Nigeria, where he received 136 voting points in comparison to Aubameyang’s 143. Aubameyang, who scored 43 goals for club and country during 2015, also became the first player from Gabon to win the award
Toure had earlier said: “I’m quite disappointed, but I don’t want to complain too much. I just want to give credit to Aubameyang – you’ve been doing brilliantly well this year.”“I’ll give an example. Messi won all the trophies, but it’s Cristiano Ronaldo who won the award [Ballon d’Or 2014]. What would you say? It’s unfair. “Even FIFA, with all its history of corruption, wouldn’t do [what CAF judges did]. “Yaya will take care of Yaya and let Africa take care of itself. As I’ve been told many times, you can’t take care of Africa too much because Africa will be the first to let you down. “When I return to Europe, a lot of questions will be asked. I think I’m going to have to answer them. As I’m someone who’s honest, I will always tell the truth,” he fumed
Swansea and Ghana forward Andre Ayew finished third in the voting. It is only the second time Ayew has finished in the top three, having also been voted into third place in 2011.