September 3 – While FIFA is busy lauding the biggest, best and most wealthy with their Best Awards, a significantly more humble set of awards and nominees were announced in Asia.
The Dream Asia Awards recognise federations, individuals and corporations using the power of football as a platform for social development. It is a message that is at the AFC’s core, with the Awards being the visible recognition of the work being done by member nations across the confederation.
For the 2019 Awards there is a record shortlist of 26 nominees including Member Associations as well as other organisations.
Leading the way in the Inspiring Member Associations category, which was introduced in 2018, are Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and China.
Nominees in the Developing category are Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Jordan, Myanmar and Singapore, while Guam, Mongolia and Palestine are in the line-up for the Aspiring category.
The Non-Government Organisation (NGO) category is the most competitive with eight nominations received namely, Shanghai Adream Foundation, Shanghai Love, Grace Sports Club from China PR, Global Workers’ Organisation from Chinese Taipei, Persepolis FC Fan Club from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan Inclusive FF, Dignity for Children from Malaysia as well as Childreach Nepal and Shelter Ashraya Nepal.
Volkswagen Group from China, Sun Ai Carpet from IR Iran and Qatar’s SHELL have been nominated in the Corporate category with Iranian international Alireza Beiranvand (pictured below) and veteran journalist Bhojraj Bhat from Nepal vying for the Individual category.
The winners for this year’s awards will be announced on October 30, 2019 at the annual AFC Social Responsibility Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Winning Member Associations will receive $15,000 to reinvest in social projects and the winner’s in the other categories will receive $10,000.
Perhaps not the volume of money seen sloshing around at FIFA’s Best awards, but undoubtedly a more meaningful use of money in football.
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