Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has launched a scathing attack on the Confederation of African Football following its decision to name Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the 2015 African Football of the Year.
Toure won the award four years in succession prior to seeing Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang break his streak, a decision he described to RFI’s Felix Sohounde Peperipe as a "shame to Africa," (h/t Sport Witness):
I’m very, very disappointed. It’s sad to see Africa react this way, that they don't think African achievements are important.
I think this is what brings shame to Africa, because to act in that way is indecent. But what can we do about it? Us Africans, we don’t show that Africa is important in our eyes. We favour more what’s abroad than our own continent. That is pathetic.
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].
The playmaker's fury is believed to be based on the fact he didn't win despite playing almost every minute of the Ivory Coast's triumphant 2015 Africa Cup of Nations campaign. That included all 120 minutes in the penalty-shootout victory over Ghana in the final.
Sport Witness added that while Toure did go on to congratulate Gabon international Aubameyang on his success, he suggested this won't be the end of the discussion:
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.
Aubameyang has scored 27 goals in 27 games this season alone and will be seen by many as a deserved winner in the polls, with Toure taking the runner-up position.
What's more, the official CAF Twitter account hailed Aubameyang's record of five international goals in 2015. Ivorian talisman Toure has netted just three goals for his national team in the last two-and-a-half years:
Aubameyang enjoyed a stellar 2015 as he scored 5 goals in appearances for gabon, and many goals for Dortmund #GloCAFAwards20152016-1-6 09:42:40
Perhaps Toure is correct to pinpoint a player's domestic achievements as critical to the voting process, but then one might question why the CAF has a separate Player of the Year award for those based in Africa.
Toure endured a fairly forgettable 2015 in Manchester while Aubameyang was in soaring form for Borussia Dortmund, but the 32-year-old clearly feels he did enough to take home the top prize.