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Yaya Toure says his losing player of year brings 'shame to Africa'

Yaya Toure has expressed his disappointment in failing to win the African Footballer of the Year by saying the award's criteria bring "shame to Africa."

The Manchester City midfielder finished second to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Thursday night, ending his run of four straight awards from the Confederation of African Football.

But Toure felt this year's result should have gone his way after his Ivory Coast side triumphed at the African Nations Cup, while Aubameyang's Gabon were eliminated in the early stages.

"I'm very, very disappointed. It's sad to see Africa react this way, that they don't think African achievements are important," he told RFI.

"I think this is what brings shame to Africa, because to act in that way is indecent. But what can we do about it? Us Africans, we don't show that Africa is important in our eyes. We favour more what's abroad than our own continent. That is pathetic.

"As I've been told many times, you can't take care of Africa too much because Africa will be the first to let you down."

Borussia Dortmund's Aubameyang scored 41 goals and made 11 assists for club and country during 2015, including 18 strikes in 17 Bundesliga games this season.

"When you win trophies with your country but you are not able to win something personally, it's a shame," Toure said after the ceremony.

"Normally, if you win the African Nation's Cup and you are named among the 23 best players in the world, you think you will win this award.

"But I don't want to complain. I congratulate Aubameyang. He is a fantastic player and it is not his fault that this has happened."

Toure was also particularly disappointed about the failure to win that fifth title, which would have taken him one clear of Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, whose record of four wins he matched last time out.

"Yes, it is very disappointing. To be a player who wants to achieve a lot of things, when you win a lot of big trophies you think you can win personal trophies.

"But this is sport and sometimes these things happen."

The outspoken Toure has long campaigned for more recognition of African football. In October, he also criticised the Ballon d'Or for again making him the only African player among 23 nominees shortlisted for FIFA's top individual award.

Toure also compared Thursday's vote, conducted by the directors of the CAF national federations, to the ongoing FIFA scandals.

"Even FIFA, with all its history of corruption, wouldn't do that," he said.

Information from ESPN FC correspondent Colin Udoh was used in this report.


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