Caf scraps African Best Player Based in Africa award

Caf president Ahmad
Caf president Ahmad Ahmad addressed the move at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday

Caf president Ahmad Ahmad has shed light on his outfit's decision to do away with the African Best Player Based in Africa category at the annual awards gala holding in Accra, Ghana on Thursday.

Having initially announced nominees for the 2017 edition, the football governing body decided to ditch the category which was instituted in 2005, amid criticisms from several quarters.

"It's very simple - we want to promote African football," Ahmad explained at a presser in Accra on Wednesday ahead of Thursday night's gala.

"There's no two levels of football in Africa. Best is best, not best for the bad or best for the best. That's the reason."

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Egypt legend Mohamed Barakat became the first ever recipient of the African Best Player Based in Africa award in 2005 while Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango scooped the last honour in 2016.

Another dropped category is the Caf Referee of the Year.

"The referees already have their own awards by being recognised for high profile games," said, Ahmad.

"Based on the locations of the referee, they're rewarded with - say for example - the champions league quarterfinals and subsequent games.

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"Another argument is that it is unethical. The committee believes that by giving referees awards, it may lead to some corruption at a later stage."

Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will, thus, remain the last recipient of the award following his honour in 2016.