Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, Nov 18: Iran have two players while Japan, Korea Republic 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 Korea Republic side Ulsan Hyundai win the AFC Champions League this year, Socceroo defender Lucas Neill, Iran national team centerback 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 teammates Aya Miyama who won the 2011 AFC Women Player of the Year and Nadeshiko 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 Inter Milan’s defender Yuto Nagatomo.
Three Brazilian players have been nominated in 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 are named in the list.
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.
LIST OF CONTENDERS FOR AFC PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2012
(in alphabetical order; list as of today)
Ali Karimi (Iran)
Lee Keun-ho (Korea Republic)
Lucas Neill (Australia)
Mohsen Bengar (Iran)
Zheng Zhi (China)
NOMINEES FOR AFC WOMEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2012
(in alphabetical order)
Aya Miyama (Japan)
Homare Sawa (Japan)
Yuki Ogimi (Japan)
NOMINEES FOR AFC ASIAN INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
(in alphabetical order)
Mark Schwarzer (Australia) – Fulham, England
Shinji Kagawa (Japan) – Manchester United, England
Yuto Nagatomo (Japan) – Inter Milan, Italy
NOMINEES FOR AFC FOREIGN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
(In alphabetical order)
Bruno Correa (Brazil) – Foolad Sepahan (Iran)
Ricardo Oliveira (Brazil) – Al Jazira (UAE)
Rogerio De Assis Silva Coutinho (Brazil)- Kuwait SC (Kuwait). —- AFC