Salah and Mane both won the most coveted individual award in African football over the past three years, with the Egyptian winning it twice between 2017-2018, while Mane is the current holder.
However, Adebayor feels the recognition to players in Europe is a misguided concept in his recent tirade against the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Since CAF took over the official award from France Football in 1992, no player based in Africa has won the title.
"I distanced myself from African football because of corruption and way of doing things that side," he said, as per KingFut.
"I only honour my country Togo. 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."
Adebayor, who won the same award in 2008 ahead of Al Ahly legend Mohamed Aboutrika added: "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 last winner based on the continent dates back to 1985 when former Morrocco midfielder Mohamed Timoumi of FAR Rabat was recognised by France Football.