India women's football captain Loitongbam Ashalata Devi nominated for AFC Player of the Year award
The AIFF also earned a nomination after being named among three federations for AFC President Recognition Awards in Grassroots Football Developing category
Ashalata Devi has enjoyed an impressive year, leading India to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers Round 2 and winning the 2019 SAFF Championship title
She was subsequently voted as the Women's Player of the Year for the 2018-2019 season by the All India Football Federation
Qatar forward Akram Afif was named in a three-man shortlist for the AFC's men’s player of the year
Kuala Lumpur: Indian women's football team captain Loitongbam Ashalata Devi was on Friday nominated for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Player of the Year at the AFC Annual Awards to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 2 December.
The 26-year-old footballer from Imphal has enjoyed an impressive year by leading India to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Qualifiers Round 2 and winning the 2019 SAFF Championship title.
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) November 15, 2019
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 by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
China's Li Ying, who was part of the team in the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 and Japan captain Saki Kumagai were also nominated for the AFC Player of the Year award in women's category.
The AIFF also earned a nomination after being named among three federations for AFC President Recognition Awards in Grassroots Football (Developing) category.
Qatar forward Akram Afif was named in a three-man shortlist for the AFC's men’s player of the year after helping the side win their maiden Asian Cup title this year, the continental governing body said on Friday.
The 22-year-old Villarreal player is on loan at Al Sadd and was instrumental in helping the Qatari club reach the AFC Champions League semi-finals this season.
Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and Japan defender Tomoaki Makino were the other nominations in the men’s category for the annual awards.
“Afif is arguably Asia’s brightest prospect and he burst onto the scene at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 where he produced 10 assists – the most in the tournament’s history,” the AFC said in a statement.
Makino helped Japan reach their fifth Asian Cup final this year while his form at Urawa Red Diamonds saw them keep six clean sheets on their way to the AFC Champions League final against Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal.
The shortlist for the men’s coach of the year featured Urawa’s Tsuyoshi Otsuki, Kashima Antlers boss Go Oiwa as well as South Korea’s U20 coach Chung Jung-Yong.
India are already out of reckoning for a 2022 FIFA World Cup berth but still in contention for a 2023 Asian Cup spot in the joint qualifiers.
The Indian Women's League champions will represent the country in the eight-team pilot tournament of the Asian Football Confederation, to be played between 30 October and 14 November this year.
Citing examples of other footballing nations from across the world, AIFF technical director Isac Doru had earlier recommended that no team should be demoted this season.