Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel, centre, leaving after Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder , was declared African player of the year in Lagos, Nigeria, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was named African player of the year for a third straight time on Thursday. He beat out fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba, the Galatasaray striker and two-time recipient, and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel of Nigeria. "To be the winner today is unbelievable," the 30-year-old Toure said. "I am very happy and very, very proud.". (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Abuja – Top Nigerian officials criticised the procedure used to determine the Caf African Player of the Year after John Obi Mikel lost out to Ivorian star Yaya Toure.

The national team coaches of the 54 member countries vote for 10 nominated players on a scale of one to 10 points, with the highest score signifying their top pick.

Manchester City midfielder Toure collected 373 points and was voted by 28 national team coaches as their top pick for the past year, making it a hat-trick of wins after success in 2011 and 2012.

Chelsea midfielder Mikel was a distant second on 275 points, with just four national team coaches, including his own for Nigeria, choosing him as their best player.

But Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Aminu Maigari said he was disappointed that Mikel did not win the award, which was announced on Thursday evening in the country's financial hub, Lagos.

“I am disappointed that Mikel did not get this award. We have to review the procedure that is used to determine the winner of this award,” he added.

NFF technical committee chairman Chris Green also demanded answers, saying in other top awards, several other interest groups are also involved in determining the winners.

“We would need some explanations as regards how the voting is done, as other awards allow for votes from the media as well as the fans,” said a disappointed Green.

Nigeria had been hoping that Mikel would win the prize given that former Arsenal forward Nwankwo Kanu was the last from the country to be named CAF African Footballer of the year – way back in 1999. – Sapa-AFP