Lions - Pharoahs Final Overshadowed by Drogba Dustup

The Confederation of African Football had a small problem. With some good solid effort they managed to turn it into a major embarrassment, get caught in a blatant lie and overshadow today's Egypt-Cameroon African Nations Cup Final.

Chelsea's Didier Drogba came out on top in the voting for African Footballer of the Year, which was to be awarded at a glittering gala in Lome, Togo last weekend.

At the time, Drogba was in final preparations for his Ivory Coast team's African Nations Cup quarterfinal match which was to be played two days later. Drogba informed CAF officials that he intended to stay in training with his team in Ghana rather than travel to the presentation.

CAF officials told him that if he didn't show up in Togo for the ceremony they were going to "change the rules" (a synonym, apparently, for "rig the vote") and give the award to Sevilla's Frederic Kanoute of Mali.

Drogba - who won the award last year - told the tale to France's L'Equipe who in turn published Drogba's account.

The CAF VEHEMENTLY DENIED DRAGBA"S STORY, saying bluntly that "CAF have never called Didier Drogba or Frederic Kanoute to tell them that if they did not attend the ceremony they would not get the award."

Only problem was that, well, it just wasn't true. And on Thursday, they ADMITTED THAT THEY HAD LIED about the whole thing.

The CAF, which is a typically arrogant soccer governing body which feels that the teams and players exist mostly to keep them in four star hotels and gourmet cuisine, is one of the linchpins of Sepp Blatter's regime and is not any more likely to get in hot water with FIFA for this than they are when they insist on holding the Nations Cup every two years, which violates FIFA's rules on holding such tournaments in World Cup years.

And that leaves aside the stupidity of insisting on holding this type of event - and making attendance mandatory - in the middle of a major tournament. It's also not o mention that the player's club employers are generally unhappy about having to give up key players at this time of year.

It's just the same story all over the globe; when the interests of the fat cat Poobahs who run international soccer conflict with the best interests of the sport and the players, there's never any question which side is going to come out on top.