Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have shared the past three CAF African Footballer of the Year awards between them, but the Liverpool superstars did not deserve their accolades, Emmanuel Adebayor has claimed.
Salah won the award in 2017 and 2018, while Mane is the current holder of the accolade.
However, Adebayor has now insisted that CAF's biggest individual prize should be awarded to players based in Africa and not Europe.
"I distanced myself from African football because of corruption and way of doing things that side. I only honour my country, Togo," he said, as quoted by KingFut.
"And if they invited me to any event that has anything to do with CAF, I won't show up because of the leaders of the organisation.
"How is Sadio Mane winning CAF Best Player Of The Year when he's not African-based? Lionel Messi has never won any continental individual trophy in his continent.
"In my whole footballing years, I've seen European players who were amazing and they played in America, they never made the nominees. But in Africa, an African who is based in Europe and then he wins African awards. How is that?
"In Brazil, Neymar can't win Brazilian player of the season but can win Brazilian player of the year, so when they include all the countries in that continent and make Neymar the best player, what about the players who are based in that continent?
"CAF stands for Confederation Of African Football. How Salah and Sadio win it is way out of my worst imagination. That award belongs to African(-based) players."
The African Footballer of the Year has been handed out by CAF since 1992, but initially rivalled France Football's Golden Ball for African players.
However, the French magazine discontinued its award in 1995, opening up their main award to all players based in Europe.
Since 2005 – with the exception of 2017 and 2018 – CAF has also handed out the African Inter-Club Player of the Year (based in Africa), with Youcef Belaili winning the prize for his exploits in 2019.
Do you agree with Adebayor's sentiment that only players based in Africa should be allowed to be named CAF African Footballer of the Year? Have your say in the comments section below.