Three Nominations at AFC Annual Awards

It is highly likely that by the end of the year the strong and tenacious defender may end up playing European football and learning from top professionals
Taha ShariatiTaha Shariati

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced the full list of nominees for this year’s AFC Annual Awards with Iran having three candidates in the list.

Young defender Taha Shariati, will compete for the AFC Youth Player of the Year Award with Koreans Lee Seung-woo and Paik Seung-ho, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Shariati, 17, played a key role for Iran’s U-17 national football team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 qualification to the next round.

According to, the towering player, 1.87 meters, is a classic star in the making for Iranian football. Strong in the tackle and excellent in the air, Shariati is a rugged defender who will keep things together under even the most intense pressure.

Superb leadership qualities, tough tackling and no-nonsense approach to defending makes the young star a gem of a player at a tender age.

The player, who has recently signed a one year contract with Esteghlal Tehran, is considered by many as one of the top three talents emerging out of Iran’s youth football in recent years.

“Although I was a right back and my real interest is to play as defensive midfielder, I will play in any post that the coach wants,” Shariati said.

It is no wonder that scouts from Europe have spotted this talent as Shariati has already been approached by an agent for possible transfer to Greek, Swedish or Austrian leagues. The player is tight-lipped about such offers, but by the end of the year, there could very well be a possibility that the strong tenacious defender may end up playing European football and learning from top professionals.

  Football Federation

The Football Federation of Iran, Japan Football Association and Korea Football Association have been nominated for the AFC Member Association of the Year Award.

Iran Federation has also been nominated for the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football. Iran will vie for the award with the Football Federation of Australia and Chinese Football Association.

The nominations for the award are based on a points system which takes into account several criteria including the member associations’ structure and management of grassroots football as well as philosophy and policy.

Other criteria include grassroots activities such as promotional, educational and social responsibility activities as well as exchange programs such as those with schools, administrative sub regional football associations, communities and clubs.

The awarding ceremony is slated for November 29 in Bangkok.


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