FORMER African Footballer of the Year award winners Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto'o have been nominated along with Michael Essien for the 2009 edition, the Confederation of African Football said yesterday.
Inter Milan striker Eto'o, who scored for his previous club Barcelona in the Champions League final they won in May and netted eight goals in the World Cup qualifiers for Cameroon, will start as favourite ahead of the two Chelsea players.
Eto'o won the award in 2003, 2004 and 2005, while Drogba was the winner in 2006. Drogba was expected to win in 2007 but refused to attend the ceremony, held during the 2008 African Cup of Nations finals in Ghana. Frederic Kanoute of Mali won the award.
The 2008 award was won by Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo. The 2009 winner will be named on March 11 in Accra. - Reuters