Belfast Telegraph

Toure and Ba in running for gong

A five-man shortlist for the 2012 African player of the year has been announced, with four of the nominees plying their trade in the Barclays Premier League last season.

The Confederation of African Football has named Ivorian pair Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure, Cameroon's Alex Song, Senegalese striker Demba Ba and Ghanaian Andre Ayew as the final contenders for the prize having pruned a 10-man longlist.

Only the latter, who plays in Ligue 1 with Marseille, did not play in England last term.

Drogba helped Chelsea to Champions League glory before moving to China with Shanghai Shenhua, while Song traded Arsenal for Barcelona this summer.

Toure and Ba remain in England, with league champions Manchester City and Newcastle respectively.

Toure was last year's winner of the award, with Ayew in third place, and Drogba collected the gong in both 2006 and 2009.

A victor will be named in Ghana on December 20.

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