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Iran Football Crowned Twice at AFC Awards
Iran Football Crowned Twice at AFC Awards

Iran Football Crowned Twice at AFC Awards

The 30-year-old Aliasghar Hasanzadeh was awarded the AFC Futsal Player of the Year for the third time (after winning the honor in 2014 and 2016)
Iran was the first Asian nation to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup; it was crowned winners in the inaugural AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia and finished third at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas

Iran Football Crowned Twice at AFC Awards

Football Federation of Iran was named the AFC Inspiring Member Association of the Year at the AFC Annual Awards in Bangkok, Thailand, on Wednesday.
According to the AFC website, President of the Iranian Football Federation Mehdi Taj, 57, received the award.
On its way to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, Iran was the first Asian nation to qualify early in June, while the Persepolis soccer club reached the semifinals of the AFC Champions League.
Iran’s club performances have had consistent improvements not only in football but futsal as well. Sanaye Giti Pasand had a perfect record to top Group C of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam this year, before a narrow 3-2 loss to Thailand’s Bluewave Chonburi to secure a runners-up spot.
On top of that, Iran was crowned winners in the inaugural AFC Beach Soccer Championship Malaysia in March to receive an automatic qualification to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas, where it finished third.
The prestigious award is given to a Member Association in recognition of its professional administration and governance as well its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game at all levels within the country.
Recognizing the diversity of MA’s in terms of facilities and resources and looking to ensure that more nations 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 as opposed to just one.
The AFC’s Member Associations are divided into three categories namely ‘Inspiring’, ’Developing’ and ‘Aspiring’ based on their overall footballing prowess.
Member Associations are assessed and awarded points on various areas encompassing the association’s activities such as the organization of courses and seminars, competitions, grassroots and youth development, women’s programs, social responsibility and special projects.
Points are also given for an MA’s hosting of AFC qualifying and finals tournaments as well as their national and club teams’ placing in AFC and FIFA competitions throughout the year.

  Futsal Player of Year
Aliasghar Hasanzadeh was awarded the AFC Futsal Player of the Year for the third time, ahead of compatriot Touhid Lotfi and Thailand’s forward Jirawat Sornwichian.
After receiving the award in 2014 and 2016, the 30-year-old from Qom joins the ranks of compatriot Vahid Shamsaei, who also won the accolade thrice in 2007, 2008 and 2015.
Hasanzadeh has had a string of successes for club and country, from as far back as the 2007 AFC Futsal Championship to the most recent 2018 AFC Futsal Championship South and Central Zones Qualifiers.
In 2017, the Iranian playmaker scored two goals in the AFC Futsal Club Championship Group Stages, before scoring a crucial goal in the final against Thailand’s Bluewave Chonburi. Despite falling short at the final hurdle against the Thais, there was cheer for Hasanzadeh after he was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
Top scorer at the 2013 and 2016 Iranian Futsal Super League with 29 and 26 goals respectively, the influence Hasanzadeh brings into the team is not just the number of goals scored but his awareness on court, incredible footwork and picture perfect opportunities he creates.
That performance was showcased once again at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, where he would claim his fourth title with Iran Futsal by scoring four goals as Iran emerged champions.
His formidable experience is reflected on his synergy with the team, and in his most recent performance in the South and Central Zones Qualifiers, his strong form continued as he carried the team to a 15th AFC Futsal Championship appearance, aiming to defend and claim a 12th title for Iran.

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