Team spokesman Jean-Claude Djacus said the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had planned to give the award to the Chelsea forward but decided not to do so after he said he would not travel to the Togolese capital to collect it due to his team commitments during the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.
The award went to Mali striker Frederic Kanoute instead, with Ghana’s Michael Essien the other player in the running. Kanoute was able to attend the ceremony as his side had been knocked out of the Nations Cup the previous Tuesday.
_quote “CAF has brought itself into disrepute. They called Didier on the eve of the ceremony to tell him they would give the award to Kanoute if he did not come. Didier is now saying that he does not want to be part of the 2008 vote,” Djacus added.
The Ivory Coast were busy preparation for Sunday’s quarterfinal with Guinea – which they won 5-0 – begging the question of why the ceremony was not simply held in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, making it possible for all dignitaries and players attending the Nations Cup to take part.
CAF chief communications director Suleiman Habuba was not immediately available for comment.