For the first time in the history of African football, four Ghanaian players have been shortlisted for the CAF African Player of the Year Award, a report on MTNfootball.com claims.

According to the report, the list is dominated by players from Ghana and their neighbors from Ivory Coast.

New Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, Kevin Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah and Micahel Essien were named as the Ghanaian players in the report.

Didier Drogba is one of four Ivorians being considered for the award, the others being Salomon Kalou, Gervinho and Kolo Toure.

Surprisingly only one player from African Cup of Nations winners Egypt was named in the 17-man list.

Some of the other key nominees are Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Madjid Bougherra (Algeria), Steven Pienaar (South Africa), Mohamed Zidan (Egypt), Frederic Kanoute, Seydou Keita (Mali), Marouane Chamakh (Morocco) and Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo).

Ghana’s best hope of winning the award is Asamoah Gyan who excelled at the African Cup of Nations by leading the Black Stars to the final. He replicated a similar feat by leading Africa’s only hope at the World Cup as he steered the country to the quarter final.

Essien who has consistently made the final three of the shortlist will struggle to make the final three because he was out of action for most of the season because of injury.

He played only one match at the African Cup of Nations and played no part at the World Cup. Abedi Pele was the last Ghanaian to win the award. The list will be pruned later in 2010.

THE NOMINEES

Madjid Bougherra (Rangers/Algeria)
Steven Pienaar (Everton/South Africa)
Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan/Cameroon)
Kolo Habib Touré (Manchester City/Ivory Coast)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea/Ivory Coast)
Solomon Kalou (Chelsea/Ivory Coast)
Gervinho (Lille/Ivory Coast)
Mohamed Zidan (Dortmund/Egypt)
Michael Essien (Chelsea/Ghana)
Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland/Ghana)
Asamoah Kwadwo (Udinese/Ghana)
Prince Boateng (Milan AC/Ghana)
Frédéric Kanouté (FC Sévilla/Mali)
Seydou Keita (FC Barcelona/Mali)
Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal/Morocco)
Victor Nsofor Obinna (Inter Milan, on loan to West Ham/Nigeria)
Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City/Togo)

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