Akram Afif, Saki Kumagai named Asian Players of the Year at AFC Annual Awards 2019


Akram Afif who helped Qatar win the AFC Asian Cup 2019 earlier this year has been named the AFC Men’s Player of the Year at the AFC Annual Awards 2019 on Monday.

The 23-year-old ‘s triumph makes it back-to-back winners of the personal accolade from Qatar with Abdelkarim Hassan winning the honour at the AFC Annual Awards 2018.

AFC Champions League 2019: Al Sadd SC 1-0 Al Nassr FC (Akram Afif 26′)

Afif overcame competition from Japan international defender Tomoaki Makino who guided Urawa Red Diamonds to the final of AFC Champions League 2019 and IR Iran international goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Saki Kumagai who plays for Japan and Olympique Lyon was named the AFC Women’s Player of the Year ahead of Li Ying of China PR and India women’s national team star Ashalata Devi.

Tottenham Hotspur and Korea Republic star Song Heung-min was named the AFC International Player of the Year ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Makoto Hasebe and Zenit St Petersburg’s Sardar Azmoun.

Another South Korean Lee Kang-in of Valencia CF won the AFC Youth Player of the Year among men beating Vietnam star Doan Van Hau who is on loan at Dutch Eredivisie club SC Heerenveen from Hanoi FC and Japan sensation Hiroki Abe who is currently on the rolls of La Liga giants Barcelona.

Japan’s Jun Endo was named the AFC Youth Player of the Year among women.

Korea Republic U-20 national team head coach Chung Jung-yong was named the AFC Coach of the Year among men beating out competition from Kashima Antlers boss Go Oiwa and Tsuyoshi Otsuki who took Urawa Reds to the final of ACL 2019.

Asako Takakura, head coach of the Japan women’s national football team, was named the AFC Coach of the Year in women’s category ahead of former Thailand head coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian and Katayoun Khosrowyar of Iran.

Tomoki Yoshikawa of Japan was named the AFC Futsal Player of the Year 2019.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Ahmad Shah, the King of Malaysia, was presented the AFC Diamond of Asia Award.

Aspiring Member Association of the Year award went to Guam Football Association while Hong Kong Football Association was named the Developing Member Association of the Year. The Inspiring Member Association of the Year award, meanwhile, was presented to Japan Football Association.

National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam won the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football among aspiring member associations while Football Association of Singapore won the award among developing associations and Chinese Football Association won in the inspiring category.