November 21 – With the AFC Annual Awards Asian warming up for their December 1 unveiling in Abu Dhabi, the confederation has split out four awards that are being honoured at special occasions.
The first of these are the AFC Referees Special Awards which saw six of the regions top officials honoured in front of their peers at the opening of the AFC Elite Referees and Assistant Referees Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. in the Malaysian capital. The awards were presented by AFC Referees Committee Vice-Chairman, Hany Taleb Ballan Safar (Qatar).
Australians Kate Jacewicz, Renae Coghill and India’s Uvena Fernandes completed an all-Asian team when they were selected to officiate in the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan last month. They also featured prominently in the group stages, taking charge of the fixtures between Brazil and England, as well as Venezuela and Germany.
Jacewicz and Coghill, who obtained their FIFA international referee status in 2011 and 2015 respectively, also worked together on the Westfield W-League 2016 final between Melbourne City FC and Sydney FC. Uvena Fernandes is India’s first-ever female referee to officiate in a FIFA World Cup.
Alireza Faghani, and assistant referees Reza Sokhandan, Mohammad Reza Mansouri, won the men’s award. They made history this year as Asia’s first trio to officiate the final of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament when they took charge of the Rio final in August between Brazil and Germany
At the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Australia, Faghani and Sokhandan officiated the final match between Korea Republic and host nation Australia. The trio also officiated the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup final in Tokyo, between Barcelona and Argentina.
Three other awards will be presented at events still to be determined;The AFC Futsal Player of the Year, AFC Youth Player of the Year and AFC Asian International Player of the Year.
The shortlists for these awards are:
AFC FUTSAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Ahmad Esmaeilpour (IR Iran)
- Aliasghar Hasanzadeh (IR Iran)
- Farhad Tavakoli (IR Iran)
AFC YOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR (Men)
- Mohammed Dawood (Iraq)
- Rakan Shamlan M Alanaze (Saudi Arabia)
- Ritsu Doan (Japan)
- Fuka Nagano (Japan)
- Hana Takahashi (Japan)
- Sung Hyang Sim (PRK)
AFC ASIAN INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund & Japan)
- Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City & Japan)
- Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hostpur & Korea Republic)
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