Ivorian trio shortlisted for African Player of the Year

Three Ivorian players including Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure have been shortlisted for the 2011 Caf African Footballer of the Year award.

His two compatriots Didier Drogba of Chelsea and Gervinho of Arsenal were also named in the ten-man shortlist.

Three Ghanaians were named in the list unveiled in Accra on Wednesday.

Striker Asamoah Gyan of UAE side Al Ain, Andre Ayew of Marseille and AC Milan's Kevin Prince-Boateng were in the shortlist.

They will face a tough challenge from four-time winner .

Others named for the award are Morocco's Adel Taarabt , Moussa Sow of Senegal and Mali's Seydou Keita .

The Ivorian trio and their counterparts from Ghana were nominated for helping their countries qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations without a defeat.

Sow, who won the French Ligue 1's top scorer award in May, was rewarded for helping Senegal return to Africa's flagship competition, the Africa Cup of Nations, after edging past favourites Cameroon.

Eto'o, who won the award for the fourth time last year, was named despite failing to help his club and country to achieve anything significant this year.

The list will be whittled down to three before the winner in named in December.

The winner will be decided by votes from coaches of all the African senior national teams.

The awards ceremony will be held in Accra on 22 December.

Meanwhile two Tunisian players were named in the Best African Player on the Continent category.

Oussama Darragi and Youssef Msakni, who play for Esperance, were shortlisted for helping their club to reach the final of the African Champions League.

Zimbabwean striker Edward Sadomba was also nominated in this category for his contribution to Sudanese side Al Hilal who reached the semi-final of the Champions League.

It will be the third time the Ghanaian capital will be hosting the annual event after 2006 and 2009.

2011 Caf Awards shortlist:

Caf Player of the Year

Adel Taarabt (Morocco and Queens Park Rangers), Andre Ayew (Ghana and Marseille), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana and Al-Ain), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast and Chelsea), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana and AC Milan), Moussa Sow (Senegal and Lille), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon and Anzhi), Seydou Keita (Mali and Barcelona), Yao Kouassi Gervais "Gervinho" (Ivory Coast and Arsenal), Yaya Toure (Cote d'Ivoire and Manchester City).

Caf African Player of the Year

Ayoub Elkhiqi (Morocco and Wydad), Yaya Banana (Cameroon and Esperance), Edward Sadomba (Zimbabwe and Al Hilal), Idrissa Laouali (Niger and ASFA), Jerome Ramatlhakwane (Botswana and Vasco da Gama), Kalu Uche (Nigeria and Enyimba), Oussama Darragi (Tunisia and Esperance), Samir Aboud (Libya and Al-Ittihad), Youssef Msakni (Tunisia and Esperance), Zouhir Dhaouadi (Tunisia and Club Africain)