Happiness, cheerfulness, joyfulness among others was exuded by the footballing community in Ghana. What could be the cause? The presence of Thomas Teye Partey in Caf’s 34-man preliminary list for the 2018 African Player of the Year award.
Buoyed by the news, they waited patiently to see his name in the final shortlist – but their patience for great news was rewarded with a stab in the heart as their country’s brightest Black Star was snubbed by Caf for the final shortlist.
With their heart so hurt, that they could feel their blood dripping by the unexpected news, took to social media; Twitter, to vent their anger at the Confederation of African Football:
I wonder why a player who has been outstanding in the success story of Athletico Madrid was left out. He won the Europa cup & the UEFA SUPPER CUP, & placed 2nd in la Liga. What did Mo. Salah, and S. Mane win? I'm not takin anythin away from Salah but Partey also has a good season
— Nesta Boateng (@NestaBoateng) December 15, 2018
Alex Iwobi over Thomas Partey. #Jesus. This total downgrade to CAF. What has Iwobi done to deserve that short list? His been shit from last season into this season. We talking about a Thomas Partey's Atletico de Madrid that kicked Iwobi's Arsenal out of Europa. Shm#CAFAWARDS18 pic.twitter.com/LVZBUJa7ue
— Super Miki (@Asinvenger) December 15, 2018
— Abwoy★🇬🇭🇳🇬 (@WonderBwoy_Gh) December 14, 2018
In their defense, here is a player who was instrumental in his club’s achievements last season – beating city rivals and French giants Real Madrid and Olympique Marseille respectively in both the UEFA Super Cup and Europa League finals.
The 25-year-old’s exclusion from the final shortlist means that, a Ghanaian won’t win it; hence, extending the number of years the prestigious award has eluded a Ghanaian to 26 since Abedi Pele last won it in 1993.
With their dreams shattered into pieces by Caf like a broken mirror, one could only argue about the criteria used by the Members of the Confederation’s Technical & Development Committee in selecting the final shortlist considering a few names that were selected ahead of the Ghanaian.
Was it about individual performances for club and country? Or was it about just aiding your country to qualify for the World Cup in Russia?
If it was the latter, the Ghanaian footballing community is guilty as charged in their anger towards the Confederation of African Football, but if it was the former, then they are rightfully entitled to be angry at Caf.
The final shortlist includes the likes of Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mehdi Benatia of Morocco, Riyard Mahrez of Algeria and Mohamed Salah of Egypt among others – with the winner to be determined on January 8 2018 in Senegal’s capital city Dakar by votes from Caf Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup, as well as Coaches & Captains of the 54 Member Associations.