Asian 2005 football awards well presented

Hamad Al Montashari of Saudi Arabia was selected the AFC Player of the Year 2005 at the Asian Football Confederation's gala annual awards presentation at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, on 30 November. Over 400 guests from across the continent enjoyed a professional and entertaining presentation which also highlighted Japan's Hara Natsuko naming as AFC Women's Player of the Year and the inaugural Diamond of Asia presentation to Japan Football Association president, Saburo Kawabuchi, for his outstanding efforts to develop football.

The JFA president had more reason to cheer after Japan was named as the AFC National Team of the Year and the Japan Under-17 women’s team the AFC Women’s National Team of the Year.

Pictured left: AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam (right) with Titik Ningsih of Football Dynamics Asia at the 2005 Gala Awards.

DPR Korea striker Choe Myong-ho won the AFC Youth Player of the Year award while the AFC Match Official of the Year award went to Singaporean Shamsul Maidin. Seven-time Asian futsal champions Iran collected the AFC Futsal Team of the Year title and Al Montashari's club Al Ittihad was named AFC Club Team of the Year. The Qatar Football Association picked up the new AFC Association of the Year award for its pioneering work in promoting the game and Hong Kong was awarded the AFC Fair Play Team of the Year.

The AFC Coach of the Year was not presented this year "in the absence of a suitable Asian candidate", the AFC advised. "None of the Asian teams which qualified for the 2006 World Cup are coached by Asians and neither are the top club sides," AFCMedia reported.

See also: More nominations for AFC 2005 football awards (23 Nov) and AFC must define who is "Best" and who is "Asian" (21 Nov)