Cast your vote now for the Asian Football Awards

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The inaugural Asian Football Awards will be held on January 24, 2012 at London’s Wembley Stadium with the support from The FA and Kick It Out. It is a partnership between Initiate Sports and Inventive Sports with the inaugural awards set to be hosted by Dharmesh Sheth from Sky Sports News.

The Asian Football Awards (AFA) have been launched to recognise the outstanding contribution to both the professional game and grassroots initiatives by individuals and groups across the UK with South Asian heritage. A number of exceptional UK Asians and those from the South Asian diaspora will be honoured at the first ever Asian Football Awards. This high profile event is expected to attract an exceptional list of guests to gather, support and celebrate Asians in football. The awards will ensure that those working or investing in the professional game or community sport have the opportunity to receive acclaim for their achievements in developing Asians in Football.

Initial nominations include Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town) Zesh Rehman (Muang Thong Utd) Anwar Uddin (Barnet FC) Dr Zaf Iqbal (Liverpool FC) Rimla Akhtar (MWSF) Permi Jhooti (FIFA Ambassador) Lakshmi Mittal Tony Fernandes (QPR FC). Imran Hassan, Co-Founder Asian Football Awards, said, “We have seen positive movement within the development of Asians in the game. We feel that recognition and acknowledgement of individuals and organisations is a fundamental part of developing more individuals in the professional game. I am delighted to be involved in the Asian Football Awards and look forward to celebrating all aspects of the game from investors, players, coaches and those involved behind the scenes.”

FA Equality Manager, Funke Awoderu, said, “The FA is delighted that the inaugural Asian Football Awards will be held at Wembley Stadium early next year. We are committed to football for all and look forward to welcoming the Asian football community to one of the world’s most iconic stadiums for an evening that will not only celebrate success and high achievement across all areas of the game but act as an inspiration to younger generations.”

Danny Lynch Head of Communications at Kick It Out, footballs equality and inclusion campaign, said “Initiatives like The Asian Football Awards encourage greater involvement from groups and individuals that have sometimes been marginalised from the game in the past. Kick It Out are proud supporters of the Asian Football Awards.”

Baljit Rihal, Co-Founder Asian Football Awards, added “The first Asian Football Awards promises to be a fantastic opportunity to network with influential personnel from the football industry. We are proud to be hosting this event and are sure that Asian participation in UK football will benefit its inception.”

The Asian Football Awards will recognise and honour outstanding achievements across 14 categories that include pro/semi pro players, coaches, managers investors, backroom staff and grassroots. The AFA are open to nominations for individuals with heritage from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and indeed those dedicated to increasing Asian Participation in UK football.

The 14 different categories are as follows

- Footballer of the Year
- Up and Coming Player of the Year
- Coach of the Year
- Asian Woman in Football Award
- Football Development Project of the year
- Foundation of the Year
- Behind the Scenes Award – Medical
- Behind the Scenes – Football Administration
- Investors in Football
- Grass Roots Heroes
- Football Media Award
- Asian League Team of the Year
- Inspiration Award
- Lifetime Achievement Award

An Asian Football Awards executive committee has been created which includes

- Brendon Batson MBE – Brendon Batson Consultancy
- Jonathon Mills – FA Equality Coordinator
- Kevin Coleman – Grassroots Development Officer, Kick It Out
- Zohaib Rashid – Sports Journalist & Web Editor Operation Black Vote
- Arunava Chaudhuri – Sport Journalist / TV Presenter
- Amar Singh – Deputy Editor – Goal.com
Nomination categories are open. To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Asian Football Awards or book your tickets simply visit the official website under: www.asianfootballawards.co.uk

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Author: Tanisha Kapoor

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