By Ameenu Shardow
Former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia agrees to the exclusion of Christopher Katongo from the final shortlist for the 2012 African Footballer of the Year.
The Zambia captain steered the Chipolopolo to their first Nations Cup title earlier this year in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The 30-year-old also emerged the Most Valuable Player at this year’s tournament but still fell short of making the final cut for the prestigious accolade.
Rather, the Ivorian duo of Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba were named in the final list.
It is however the inclusion of Cameroon midfielder Alexander Song in place of Katongo that has been heavily criticized.
Many believe the Barcelona player didn’t do enough in the year under review to come ahead of the China-based midfielder.
But ex Nigeria coach Siasia has backed CAF’s shortlist – saying very little has been heard of Katongo since excelling at the Nations Cup.
“He did very well, but after the Nations Cup we never heard of him,” Siasia said.
“And I think this is one thing the judges were looking at.
“I don’t know how they do the selection but I think your performance at your club is also a major factor.”
Winner of the flagship award amongst other honours will be handed out at the CAF awards gala on Thursday night in Accra.
Katongo has however been recently named the BBC African Footballer of the Year – an award which was held by Ghana international Andre Ayew and voted for by the fans.