CAIRO: Egyptian coach Sherif Al-Khashab revealed that his three choices for the African Player of the Year award didn’t include his compatriots Ahmed Hassan and Ahmed Nagui ‘Geddo.’
Egypt and Ahly duo Hassan and Geddo were both named in CAF’s 10-man list for the prestigious accolade but it seems that none of them has a tangible chance to scoop it.
Chad manager Al-Khashab, one of the award voters, said he picked Sunderland’s Asamoah Gyan, Chelsea star Didier Drogba and Inter Milan marksman Samuel Eto’o.
"My choices are based on credibility and reasonable assessment of the candidates. My feelings have nothing to do with this," he told FilGoal.com.
"I could have picked Ahmed Hassan and Geddo as first and second choice, but it wouldn’t be honest.
"I also could have kept my choices undisclosed but I’m not afraid of anyone.
"Gyan, Drogba and Eto’o ply their trade at high-profile clubs. Football in Europe is completely different than in Egypt.
"They also helped their respective countries reach the 2010 World Cup and were in good form during the competition."
Drogba and Eto’o couldn’t lead Ivory Coast and Cameroon beyond the group stage of the gigantic competition while Gyan was instrumental in helping Ghana reach the quarter finals.
On the other, Egypt missed out on their chance of reaching the World Cup after losing 1-0 to Algeria in the playoff game held in Sudan.
"Ahmed Hassan is a great player but his injury hampered him," Al-Khashab explained.
"Geddo was also influential during Egypt’s triumphant 2010 Nations Cup campaign but he was a substitute player (and also the competition top scorer).
"On top of that, he didn’t play a major role at club level. He didn’t impress neither with Ahly nor Ittihad (his previous club)."
Egypt skipper Hassan, who’s nursing a serious knee injury he sustained in the Pharaohs’ 1-1 draw at home to Sierra Leone in the opening game of the 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers, once said that it’s not likely for an Egyptian footballer to win the African Player of the Year award.
Al-Khashab also stated that Barcelona’s Argentine wizard Lionel Messi was his third choice for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
His first choice was Barca and Spain hotshot Andres Iniesta. Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo came second on his list.
"Iniesta was amazing during the World Cup and also had great moments with Barcelona last year," Al-Khashab said.
"Everybody cares about dribbling skills but I chose Iniesta because he’s incredibly effective in a quiet way."