By Saddique Shaban in Accra, Ghana
The Confederation of African Football says it would have wished to have the newly elected Liberian President George Wear in Ghana for the football awards.
African football Chief Ahmad Ahmad says their formal invitation to the former African player of the year still stands, despite his election victory.
“We are pleased that one of our own in football has been elected the President of Liberia. We know he has not been sworn in yet, but it would have been befitting to have him in Accra for the CAF player of the year awards”.
Media reports in sections of Ghanaian press had indicated that Wear, the only African to have won both Fifa World Player of the Year and the prestigious Ballon D’Or, will instead send a representative.
“Due to state protocol that now defines Mr. Wear’s status, he will not here for the football awards but will be represented by his wife.”
At the same time, Ahmad was hard pressed to explain the sudden departure of the gala’s long time sponsor, Nigeria’s telco giant, Globacom.
“We don’t know why they left, you have to ask them, not us (CAF). They chose to leave, that is their problem. My problem is that they cancelled the contract one year before the end of time. Our new sponsor Aiteo Group has a much better package than Globacom.”
The African football chief was fielding questions from the media ahead of the football awards, which will be held on Thursday evening in Accra.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, Gabon’s Aubameyang and Senegal’s Sadio Mane will battle it out for the African Player of the Year. In the women’s category, Cameroon’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and South Africa’s Chrestina Kgatlana will attemto to unseat last year’s winner, Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala.