Internet Desk: The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Annual Awards 2016 attracts a star-studded line-up to celebrate Asian football in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi to honour the pinnacle of the continent’s achievements tomorrow.

After another captivating and memorable year, both on and off the field, the eagerly anticipated extravaganza will kick off at the Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s finest venues, at 18.00 (Gulf Standard Time).

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “Since the AFC Executive Committee’s announcement in March this year, the continent has been filled with excitement and anticipation for this year’s AFC Annual Awards.

“Together with our partners the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the UAE FA, the AFC has been working tirelessly to stage the perfect show to celebrate our teams, players, coaches and Member Associations. All our nominees have displayed their dedication to improve football in Asia under the banner of One Asia, One Goal, and on behalf of the Asian football family, I wish them all good luck.”

The 2016 AFC Annual Awards will also mark a decade since the AFC Awards was first hosted in Abu Dhabi at the 2006 edition. With guest performances from a rising star, singer-songwriter Nathalie Saba, the UAE’s pop icon Aryam, as well as a gravity-defying act from the Aerialist Acrobatic Group, the stage is set for a breathtaking spectacle.

His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, ADSC General Secretary said: “Abu Dhabi is ready to welcome and celebrate the best of Asia’s talent. We have spared no effort in staging this world-class event. We are extremely proud to have this honour and I am confident that Asia will remember the AFC Annual Awards 2016 for many years to come.”

The AFC Player of the Year and the AFC Women’s Player of the Year, as well as the AFC Dream Asia Award are just some of the headlining awards that will be handed out tomorrow. The award categories are:

* Diamond of Asia Award
* Dream Asia Award
* Member Association of the Year (Inspiring, Developing, Aspiring)
* President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football (Inspiring, Developing, Aspiring)
* Coach of the Year (men and women)
* Player of the Year (men and women)

The nominees for the awards to be presented at the AFC Annual Awards 2016 event are:

AFC Dream Asia Award
The AFC Dream Asia Award is to recognise and honour those who have shown exemplary commitment towards social development using football as an agent for change. The award is open to individuals, corporations, NGOs and Member Associations, and is given in recognition of those who share the values of Dream Asia, the AFC’s social responsibility initiative, which promotes the culture of giving and emphasises the power of football in bringing about positive change.

Japan Football Association
Korea Football Association
Qatar Football Association

AFC Member Association of the Year
The prestigious award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well as its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within the country. This includes grassroots and youth development work, women’s football development and social responsibility.

Recognising the diversity of MA’s in terms of facilities and resources and looking to ensure that more MAs will receive recognition for their efforts and achievements in developing football in their country, the AFC in 2013 introduced three winners for the Member Association of the Year Award.

Inspiring

Japan Football Association
Korea Football Association
United Arab Emirates Football Association

Developing

All India Football Federation
Football Association of Malaysia
Vietnam Football Federation

Aspiring

Bhutan Football Federation
Football Federation of Cambodia
Football Federation of Sri Lanka

AFC President Recognition Awards for Grassroots Football
The award recognises Member Associations for their efforts to promote grassroots football. The criteria include assessing Member Associations’ grassroots partnerships with various external organisations, as well as their technical programmes such as courses, workshops and talent identification.

Another measure of success is grassroots development in exchange programmes, such as those with schools, regional and/or local football associations, communities and clubs. All grassroots activities, for example promotional, educational and social responsibility events are also taken into account.

Inspiring

Football Federation Australia
Japan Football Association
Qatar Football Association

Developing

Hong Kong Football Association
Philippine Football Federation
Vietnam Football Federation

Aspiring

Football Federation of Sri Lanka
Macau Football Association
National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam

AFC Coach of the Year

Men

Choi Kang-hee (Korea Republic)
Makoto Teguramori (Japan)
Atsushi Uchiyama (Japan)

Women

Chan Yuen Ting (Hong Kong)
Miyo Okamoto (Japan)
Ri Un-suk (DPR Korea)

AFC Player of the Year

Men

Omar Abdulrahman (United Arab Emirates)
Hammadi Ahmed (Iraq)
Wu Lei (China PR)

Women

Lisa De Vanna (Australia)
Caitlin Foord (Australia)
Tan Ruyin (China PR)

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