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AFC Annual Awards Hong Kong 2019 nominees revealed!

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

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

AFC Player of the Year (Men) Candidates

Safarbeiranvand is famously known for saving Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and he repeated the feat against Oman in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup to lead Iran to the semifinals. 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 2019 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 2019 AFC Asian Cup where he produced 10 assists – the most in the tournament’s history. He was also a figure of consistency for club Al Saad where they reached the semifinals of the AFC Champions League.

AFC Player of the Year (Women) Candidates

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 to the Round of 16 in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She also featured prominently for her club Guangdong Huijun FC, 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 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 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 FC 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)
– Nuengrutai Srathongvian (THA)

AFC Coach of the Year (Men)

– Tsuyoshi Otsuki (JPN)
– Go Oiwa (JPN)
– Chung Jung-yong (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
– 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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