Aiteo/CAF Awards: The good, the bad, the… 

Aiteo/CAF Awards: The good, the bad, the… 
 The International Conference Centre, Accra played host to the finest actors in African football on Thursday night at the annual event of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards.

Thursday’s event, a typically belated showpiece to crown top performers from the continent in 2017 was attended by top government officials from across the continent, active and former footballers as well as other stakeholders in the game.

I take a critical look at the much criticised Awards night and I think the positives outweigh the negatives


The value of any award system is enhanced by the credibility of recipients or the acknowledgement of their congruent efforts to attain the reward. Thursday night excelled in this aspect.

Under a new concise structure of just seven categories for the Award, not many could argue with the choice of winners as awarded on the night. Mo Salah, Asisat Oshoala, Hector Cuper, Banyana Banyana, the Pharaohs, Patson Daka and Wydad Casablanca were worthy winners in each category, a victory for credibility.

Best Female Player Asisat Osoala showing her Award to Pres Obasanjo and Gov Ambode of Lagos state

Not only were the right winners awarded, it was also a great sight for credibility to have all nominees in each category present for the awards.

Still on attendance, it is quite laudable that the Confederation were able to get as many former winners as possible into the arena with several of them playing active roles in the ceremony – including Didier Drogba’s compere role on the night.

It was impressive to see CAF change from last year’s horrible sight of politicians giving awards to recipients and give honours to former winners to get it done on stage.


Timing and lack of it thereof has been a menace in the African continent. Games struggle to start at allocated time, it is rocket science for domestic flights to take off at stipulated time and it is near-impossible to stick to time at events of Thursday’s magnitude.

The Award Night was billed to commence at 7pm local time but did not start until about 7:30. It is important to note that much of the stages (from the red carpet to the Main Hall) were put together on the Awards day and it did look at some point that they were in a race against time.

All participants arrived in good time so absolutely nothing delayed the start of the programme apart from the readiness of the necessary logistics. This must be worked upon by CAF!

Asides commencement, the length of the Gala must be properly set so everyone participating in it can run with the timing. Ideally, such event should not last more than two hours (max) – Thursday’s lasted about 2 hrs, 25 minutes – if they are to keep the audience intact.

Given the peculiar African culture, I am not against the incorporation of music into the Awards night but there must not be an overkill and it must be seen by all that a specific time is allotted for all and being adhered to.

I must admit I enjoyed every bit of it right inside the hall but at a point, I imagined if I was watching at home if it would be same feeling. I doubt! Organisers must be responsible for the enjoyment of all.


Awards ceremonies are always hotly debated and critiqued among viewers across the globe. Thursday’s event would not be different and it truly was not. This piece might have highlighted much of the arguments but there were a few more left.

Many across the continent are still distraught at the so-called CAF XI of the year which was without the best three players after Salah in the year under review. Sadio Mane, Emerick Aubameyang and Victor Moses had no places in the selection.

To set the records straight, the selection was named FANS FAVOURITE XI for specific reasons – to encourage the participation of fans – and fans were largely responsible for the picks across all CAF’s social media channels.

There is no pattern to voting as sentiment is the rule of the game.

In all, congratulations to the Confederation for staging a credible award someone touted as “Conducted by Nigeria (the Sponsors) in Ghana (the hosts) for Egypt (the biggest winners).”

What areas do you also think CAF can improve on? Let’s have your thoughts on the comments section.

1 Comment

  • Reply Arome Okpanachi January 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Sometimes, these award ceremonies are uptight and too proper. Also, the language barriers, mixed with smooth script playouts, make them a little awkward.

    Creating a section at the venue, for live fans to cheer, makes them more exciting. From a marketing perspective, there’s a lot of content created (photos, hashtags, tweets) And it spikes the social media interaction, across platforms.

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