George Weah

The capital of Ghana, Accra is abuzz and bracing up for unarguably the biggest football gathering of the New Year, Aiteo/CAF Awards 2017.

The Awards Gala that will see the decoration of players, officials and administrators for their achievement in 2017 is scheduled for this evening at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Stakeholders of the game are looking forward to the event as nominees and legends flock the Ghanaian capital for the much awaited event. It is also the first time that all past winners have been invited to the grand occasion.

All the living 15 previous winners, including Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Amuneke and Victor Ikpeba are expected to turn up at the Accra International Conference Centre.

They will be joined by Liberia’s President-elect George Oppong Weah (who is the only African to have won the World Player of the Year title, and did a treble by also winning the European Player of the Year award in the same 1995), former Black Stars’ Captain Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew (winner of the maiden award in 1992), four-time winners Yaya Toure and Samuel Eto’o Fils, two-time winners Didier Drogba and El-Hadji Diouf, and Frederic Kanoute, Patrick Mboma, Mustapha Hadji, Emmanuel Adebayor, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Riyad Mahrez.

Only Cote d’Ivoire, with Drogba’s double and Toure’s quadruple, have taken more titles than Nigeria.

It is also the first time ever, football fans and the general public have been presented with the opportunity to have a say in the selection process for the African Player of the Year and Africa’s Finest XI.

Public voting opened on the CAF website on Sunday, December 24, 2017. The outcome will be tallied with results from the earlier phases of the selection process for the contenders.

The list of invitees is not only limited to previous winners, but also to other players and officials whose contribution towards the progress of African football cannot be overlooked.