The CAF Awards is an annual event held to honour the best African football players, clubs and other excellent figures in Africa. Â The award debuted in 1992, is conferred by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). This yearâ€™s edition was sponsored by the giant telecommunications company, Globacomm.
On Thursday January 9, 2014, at the Eko Convention Centre in Lagos, the Ivorian and Manchester City player, Yaya Toure clinched the award for the third time consecutively to become the King of African football beating his Ivorian count
erpart Didier Drogba and John Obi Mikel (Nigeria).
In a ceremony dominated by Nigeria who swept the Coach of the Year and Team of the Year awards, many had expected Chelseaâ€™s Mikel to win the top gong on the back of the Super Eaglesâ€™ victory at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, it was the Ivoirian Toure who was called up to the podium again, walking in the footsteps of Cameroonian Samuel Etoâ€™o who won it thrice between 2003 and 2005.
Toure told media that he felt â€˜luckyâ€™ to win it considering the size of the competition.
In the other awards given on the evening, Egyptian Mohamed Aboutreika won the award for best African player based on the continent. It was a good send off for the 35-year-old who announced his retirement from football at the end of last season.
Aboutreika beat off competition from compatriot Ahmed Fathy and Nigerian midfielder Sunday Mba.
It wasnâ€™t all gloom for Nigeria as their coach Stephen Keshi won â€˜best coachâ€™ Â and the Super Eagles won the award for â€˜Team of the Yearâ€™ .
Youngster Kelechi Iheanacho who led Nigeria to the Fifa U17 World Cup victory was named Promising Young Player while his team was named the Youth Team of the Year.
Four Nigerians also made it into CAF Team of the Year.
The Full Awards
National Team of the Year
Youth National Team of the Year
Club of the Year
Fair Play Award
Nigeria Supporters Club
Referee of the Year
Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)
Most Promising Talent
Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria U17)
Coach of the Year
Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)
Enyeama; Fathy, Benatia, Constant, Mikel, Yaya, Aboutreika, Pitroipa, Emenike, Gyan, Aubameyang
African Player of the Year (Africa-based)
Mohamed Aboutreika (Egypt)
African Player of the Year
Yaya Toure (Cote Dâ€™Ivoire)
CAF Legend Award
Jose Mehdi Faria
PAST WINNERS OF THE AWARDS:
Past winners of the CAF Awards ever since its debut in 1992 till 2013;
1992 Abedi AYEW PELÃ‰ (Ghana)
1993 Rashidi YEKINI (Nigeria)
1994 Emmanuel AMUNIKE (Nigeria)
1995 George WEAH (Liberia)
1996 Nwankwo KANU (Nigeria)
1997 Victor IKPEBA (Nigeria)
1998 Mustapha HADJI (Morocco)
1999 Nwankwo KANU (Nigeria)
2000 Patrick MBOMA (Cameroon)
2001 El-Hadji DIOUF (Senegal)
2002 El Hadji DIOUF (Senegal)
2003 Samuel ETOâ€™O (Cameroon)
2004 Samuel ETOâ€™O (Cameroon)
2005 Samuel ETOâ€™O (Cameroon)
2006 Didier DROGBA (CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire)
2007 FrÃ©dÃ©ric KANOUTE (Mali)
2008 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR (Togo)
2009 Didier DROGBA (CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire)
2010 Samuel ETOâ€™O (Cameroon)
2011 Yaya TOURE (CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire)
2012 Yaya TOURE (CÃ´te dâ€™Ivoire)Â
FACTS ABOUT PAST WINNERS:
Samuel Etoâ€™o of Cameroon (pictured) holds the record as the player with the highest number of wins. The Cameroonian forward first won it in 2003 when he took Austin Okocha [Nigeria] and Didier Drogba [Cote dâ€™Ivoire] to the cleaners, before repeating same feat in 2004, 2005 and 2010.
However, the first player to have been named CAF African footballer of the Year on two occasions remain ex-Nigeria captain Nwankwo Kanu, in 1996 and 1999 before Drogba duplicated the feat in 2006 and 2009.
Michael Essien of Ghana holds this record. The Chelsea ace was first nominated in 2005 where he bowed to the duo of Samuel Etoâ€™o and Didier Drogba. In his second attempt the following year, he was unable to get the better of Etoâ€™o and Drogba.Â 2007 provided him the best opportunity to win the coveted award but narrowly lost to Frederic Kanoute of Mali. He also lost out in the 2008 and 2009 editions.
The English Premiership has produced most winners of the award. Arsenal FC was the first English side to achieve this feat when Kanu Nwankwo was crowned in 1999 and Emmanuel Adebayor  while Liverpool followed the Gunnersâ€™ footstep through El Hadji Diouf  before Chelsea turned out Didier Drogba [2006, 2009] then Manchester City through Yaya Toure [2011, 2012].
Didier Drogba of Cote dâ€™Ivoire holds the record for the most number of nominations for this award.Â In the past 10 editions [including the 2013 edition], he has made the top three shortlist nine times, winning it twice and finishing as runner up and third place on three occasions.
Nine countries have produced winners of the past 20 editions. These countries include Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote dâ€™Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Togo, Senegal, Mali and Morocco.
Numbers of countries that produced the top three shortlists of this award since inception in 1992 include: Nigeria, Chad, Ghana, Morocco, Liberia, Senegal, Mali, Egypt, Cote dâ€™Ivoire, Togo and Cameroon
On February 2, 2008 Frederic Kanoute of Mali went into the history books of African football as the first European-born player to win the award.
In 1996, Japhet Nâ€™Doram became the first player from the Central African country to make the top three shortlist of the award. He eventually finished as runner-up to eventual winner Victor Ikpeba.
Number of times the award has produced back to back winners. El Hadji Diouf of Senegal [2001-2002], Samuel Etoâ€™o [2003-2005] and Yaya Toure [2011-2012].
This yearâ€™s edition of the CAF Awards was held at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos. The stage decoration is one of the splendid dÃ©cor in recent times as regards events associated with football in Africa.
Dozens of personalities from players, coaches, administrators, fans and all the stakeholders of the worldâ€™s most popular sport were in attendance. The event had lots of notable Nigerians including past football players. But it didnâ€™t cost much of a stare to discover that the Chairman of the Globacomm Telecomms, sponsors of the notable event was nowhere to be found.
Artistes present at the event had their moment performing live. Lagbaja a.k.a omo baba mukomuko had a splendid one pulling from one of his old melodious tracks back in the days. His out-of-the-world costume brought glamour to his performance as the audience cheered him to show their acceptance for his gesture.
Flavour as you know will not dull you with live performance, he took the crowd like he would in his musical videos.
Dâ€™banj proved once again that he is still at the top as an entertainer you canâ€™t get enough of. He did well and the guests were thrilled to have him light up the house.
The Okoye brothers a.k.a P Square had a bad one, like the bad was saved for the last. Aside the microphone exchange, continuous look at the band composers and the attitude put on stage during performance shows that this duo doesnâ€™t have it when it comes to live performance. Liveliness was completely lost in their performance.
It was a great privilege having ex-super star of the super eagles, Sunday Oliseh in the house in an unfamiliar platform as one of the compere anchoring the award. Dressed in black suit, Oliseh alongside South African television icon, Carol Tshabalala ditched out confidently as a real compere would do even at a Grammy award.
The two personalities, although not strangers to the globular leather added glitz to the ceremony designed to celebrate and honour African football personalities for their heroics for the year 2013.Thumbs up to them!
An after party was held at the same venue almost immediately.
Security personnel were at their best making sure that the event went smooth without any hiccup that could mar the success of this year edition of CAF Awards.