Ashalata Devi nominated for AFC Women Player of the year award

MUMBAI: Persepolis FC and Islamic Republic of Iran goalkeeper Ali Reza Safarbeiranvand, Japan’s versatile defender Tomoaki Makino and AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 star Akram Hassan Afif of Qatar lead the nominees for the AFC Player of the Year – Men’s category at the AFC Annual Awards Hong Kong 2019.

Meanwhile at the event to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Monday, December 2, 2019, China PR’s Li Ying, who was part of the team in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, Indian stalwart Ashalata Devi Loitongbam and Japan’s captain Saki Kumagai are the frontrunners for the AFC Player of the Year – Women’s category.

Safarbeiranvand is famously known for saving Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and he repeated the feat against Oman in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 to lead IR Iran to the semi-finals. He has been an inspirational figure in goal for both club and country but outside the pitch, he remains a strong advocate for social responsibility.

Makino’s commanding presence in the heart of the Urawa Red Diamonds have been one of the key reasons in helping his team keep six clean sheets en-route to reaching the AFC Champions League final. He was also integral in leading the Samurai Blue to their fifth final of the AFC Asian Cup.

Afif is arguably Asia’s brightest prospect and he burst onto the scene at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 where he produced 10 assists – the most in the tournament’s history. He was a figure of consistency for club Al Saad where they reached the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.

Li, the top scorer in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, was shortlisted for the AFC Player of the Year- Women’s award after guiding China PR to the Round of 16 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. She also featured prominently for her club Guangdong Huijun F.C, helping the newly promoted side maintain their status in the China Women’s Super League.

Meanwhile, Devi has enjoyed an impressive year by leading India to the Olympic 2020 Qualifiers Round 2 and winning the 2019 SAFF Championship title. The defender was also instrumental in helping her club, Sethu FC, win the Indian Women’s League crown. She was subsequently voted as the Women’s Player of the Year for the 2018-2019 season in the country.

Kumagai has been a force in women’s football after guiding Japan to the Round of 16 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. She also helped Olympique Lyonnais to their fourth consecutive UEFA Women’s Champions League title which led to her nomination for this year’s BBC World Women’s Football of the Year award.

The star-studded cast of nominees (in alphabetical order of MA) for the AFC Annual Awards Hong Kong 2019 are:

AFC Player of the Year (Men)
Ali Reza Safarbeiranvand (Persepolis F.C. and IRN)
Tomoaki Makino (Urawa Red Diamonds and JPN)
Akram Hassan Afif (Al Saad and QAT)

AFC Player of the Year (Women)
Li Ying (Guangdong Huijun F.C and CHN)
Ashalata Devi Loitongbam (Sethu FC and IND)
Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais and JPN)

AFC Asian International Player of the Year
Sardar Azmoun (IRN)
Makoto Hasebe (JPN)
Son Heung-min (KOR)

AFC Futsal Player of the Year
Mahdi Javid (IRN)
Tomoki Yoshikawa (JPN)
Yushi Sekiguchi (JPN)

AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women)
Karly Roestbakken (AUS)
Wang Linlin (CHN)
Jun Endo (JPN)

AFC Youth Player of the Year (Men)
Hiroki Abe (JPN)
Lee Kang-in (KOR)
Doan Van Hau (VIE)

AFC Coach of the Year (Women)
Katayoun Khosrowyar (IRN)
Asako Takakura (JPN)
Neungrutai Srathongvian (THA)

AFC Coach of the Year (Men)
Tsuyoshi Otsuki (JPN)
Go Oiwa (JPN)
Chung Jungyong (KOR)

AFC Member Association of the Year (Inspiring)
Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran
Japan Football Association
Korea Football Association

AFC Member Association of the Year (Developing)
DPR Korea Football Association
The Hong Kong Football Association LTD.
Football Association of Singapore

AFC Member Association of the Year (Aspiring)
Guam Football Association
Mongolian Football Federation
Yemen Football Association

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Inspiring)
Chinese Football Association
Japan Football Association
Football Association of Malaysia

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Developing)
The Hong Kong Football Association LTD.
All India Football Federation
Football Association of Singapore

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Aspiring)
National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam
Guam Football Association
Palestine Football Association

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