2008 AFC Gala Awards
There were no gongs for Australia overnight at the 2008 AFC Gala Awards held in Shanghai, China. The main award of the night was won by Uzbekistan’s Server Djeparov, who was named AFC Player of the Year.
There were no gongs for Australia overnight at the 2008 AFC Gala Awards held in Shanghai, China. The main award of the night was won by Uzbekistan-s Server Djeparov, who was named AFC Player of the Year.
Australia was represented in three awards - the AFC National Team of the Year (Socceroos); AFC Club Team of the Year (Adelaide United) and AFC Coach of the Year (Aurelio Vidmar).
However the Socceroos were pipped by its FIFA 2010 World Cup qualification rival Japan, while as expected Gamba Osaka finished ahead of Adelaide and Gamba-s coach Akira Nishino was named the top coach in Asia, ahead of Vidmar.
The main award though for the best player in Asian football went to the Uzbekistan midfielder Djeparov, who contributed enormously to the success of both his club and country during 2008. Djeparov was the catalyst for Uzbekistan-s terrific performances during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Round 3 Qualifiers, while he was equally impressive in leading Kuruvchi/Bunyodkor to the semi finals of the AFC Champions League.
Djeparov narrowly finished ahead of Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuhito Endo, who was the favourite to win the award after his sterling performances for Japan and in leading Gamba to winning the Champions League earlier this month.
Ahmed Khalil from the UAE won the AFC Youth Player of the Year award after leading his country to win the AFC U-19 Championship.
Japan also picked up the AFC Fair Play Association of the Year, while the late Ken Naganuma, who passed away in June at the age of 77, was posthumously awarded with the prestigious AFC Diamond of Asia, which was presented to his wife Yumiko and daughter Rie, for his work as a coach of Japan-s national team and one of the leading forces in getting the now very successful J-League up and running.
Iran was once again named the AFC Futsal Team of the Year while its leading player Vahid Shamsaee won the AFC Futsal Player of the Year. Iran also picked up the award for AFC Association of the Year prize, the equivalent of Australia-s award at the AFC Annual Women-s Awards held last weekend.
Uzbekistan-s Ravshan Irmatov and Tammam Hamdoun from Syria were named the AFC Referee and Assistant Referee of the Year respectively, while Malaysian Kamarudin Sakhari, had the honour of being presented with the first ever AFC Match Commissioner of the Year award.
AFC Annual Awards 2008 list of winners (in order of presentation)
AFC Diamond of Asia: Ken Naganuma (Japan) AFC Youth Player of the Year: Ahmed Khalil (UAE) AFC Futsal Player of the Year: Vahid Shamsaee (Iran) AFC Coach of the Year: Akira Nishino (Japan) AFC Assistant Referee of the Year: Tammam Hamdoun (Syria) AFC Referee of the Year: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan) AFC Match Commissioner of the Year: Kamarudin Sakhari (Malaysia) AFC Fair Play Association of the Year: Japan AFC Association of the Year: Iran AFC Futsal Team of the Year: Iran AFC Club Team of the Year: Gamba Osaka (Japan) AFC National Team of the Year: Japan AFC Player of the Year: Server Djeparov (Uzbekistan)