Asia Awaits to Recognize Best in 2017 Football

A congratulatory memento will be presented to the five Asian teams which have qualified for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018; Iran was the first Asian team to secure a spot in the event
Taha Shariati (R) and Ali-Asghar HassanzadehTaha Shariati (R) and Ali-Asghar Hassanzadeh

The year 2017 has been jam-packed with high class tournaments and successes by Asian teams in the continent and throughout the world, which all culminates on November 29 with the AFC Annual Awards to appreciate and celebrate the best of Asian football in Bangkok, Thailand. Iran has four nominations this year.

According to, a drumming performance that emulates an army marching onto the battlefield will open the show, before the high-energy and unique Japanese performance group ‘Orientarhythm’ takes the stage, and to top it off, ‘The Grand Show’ that promises an impressive and captivating performance.

At its annual awards ceremony, the AFC recognizes the continent’s brightest stars and exceptional member association in various categories.

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.

According to news leaks, Iranian Futsal player Ali-Asghar Hassanzadeh has been selected as the AFC Futsal Player of the Year and will be awarded at the ceremony.

He has gained the honor for a third time following his impressive performance at this year’s Asian competitions.

Hassanzadeh, who first won the AFC Futsal Player of the Year accolade in 2014 and then in 2016, has been instrumental in Iran’s success in recent years.

  Top Youth

Another award category that will be announced at the event and presented at a later ceremony is AFC Youth Player of the Year Award in which young defender Taha Shariati from Iran is competing with Koreans Lee Seung-woo and Paik Seung-ho.

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.

The towering player, 1.87 meters, is strong in the tackle and excellent in the air; a rugged defender who keeps 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.

A congratulatory memento will also be presented to the five Asian teams which have qualified for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Iran was the first Asian team to secure a spot in the event.

It is the first time Asia will be represented by five teams at the FIFA World Cup and South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Australia are the other teams which will seek to bring honor to the continent.


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