AFC announces nominees for its yearly awards
The Asian Football Confederation has announced the nominees of its top four awards. Iran have two players nominated, while Japan, South Korea and China have a player each in the 2012 AFC Player of the Year award. Ali Karimi – 2004 AFC Player of the Year – returned to the list of contenders, while Lee Keun-Ho, who helped the South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai win the AFC Champions League this year, Socceroo defender Lucas Neill, Iran national team centre-back Mohsen Bengar and Guangzhou Evergrande’s defender Zheng Zhi have also found a place in the top five.
AFC has also announced the top three nominees for the 2012 AFC Women’s Player of the Year accolade. All the three nominees are from the Japan national team who won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Japan captain and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Homare Sawa is among the nominees alongside her team mates Aya Miyama who won the 2011 AFC Women’s Player of the Year and Nadeshiko’s striker Yuki Ogimi.
The nominees of two new categories were also announced.
The nominees for the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award are Fulham’s Socceroo goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Manchester United‘s Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa, and Internazionale Milano’s defender Yuto Nagatomo.
Three Brazilian players have been nominated for the AFC Foreign Player of the Year award: Sepahan’s striker Bruno Correa, 2012 ACL top scorer Ricardo Oliveira (Al Jazira) and 2012 AFC Cup Champions, Kuwait SC’s midfielder Rogerio de Assis Silva Coutinho.
The awards will be presented at the AFC Annual Awards gala to be held at the Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur on November 29, 2012.