Asian Football Awards Shortlist Announced for Wembley Stadium extravaganza
NOMINATIONS have been announced for the first ever Asian Football Awards.
The event, which will take place at Wembley stadium on 24 January, will honour leading British Asians in the game.
Amongst the nominees are footballers Netan Sansara (Paeek FC), Zesh Rehman (Kitchee SC), Adil Nabi (West Bromwich Albion) and Danny Batth (Wolves FC/Sheff Wed).
Non-playing nominees include Liverpool FC doctor Zaf Iqbal, BBC reporter Manish Basin and Rimla Akhtar who heads the Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation.
Organisers said proceeds from the event, which is being supported by the FA and Kick It Out, will go into legacy projects and future bursary disbursements for young elite Asian
Baljit Rihal, Co-Founder Asian Football Awards hopes the event would encourage more British Asians to get involved in the game.
He said: “We have received hundreds of inspiring nominations from across the country. It is such a pleasure to know that so many Asians are involved and passionate about the game of football. We hope that the Asian Football Awards can play a part by recognising great individuals, organisations and initiatives.”
“Our vision has always been to support the growth of Asians in UK football. Since we announced the event last year, the media attention and support from all across the industry has been phenomenal. I can proudly say that the Asian Football Awards will most definitely encourage more Asians to get involved in every aspect of the game.”
David Bernstein, FA Chairman added: “The FA is committed to diversity and inclusion across all areas of the game and I’m delighted that the Asian football community are celebrating their achievements at Wembley Stadium.”
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town), Zesh Rehman (Kitchee SC – Hong Kong), Anwar Uddin (Barnet FC), Indy Aujla (RRFC Montegnee – Belgium), Netan Sansara (Paeek FC – Cyprus)
COACH OF THE YEAR: Nas Bashir (Hayes & Yeading FC, FAB Academy), Bal Singh (Khalsa Football Academy), Taff Islam (ProTouch and Arsenal), Chris Dolby (Barnsley FC), Nilio Bagga – Samba Soccer Schools
ASIAN WOMAN IN FOOTBALL: Vanisha Patel (Charlton Women FC), Rimla Akhtar (Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation), Sophia Rashid (Women United AFC), Priti Trivedi (Scottish Premier League), Sangi Patel (QPR)
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Danny Batth (Wolves), Adil Nabi (WBA), Jasbir Singh – (Solihull Moors), Aaron Singh Sekhon (Partick Thistle), Malvind Singh Benning (Walsall)
FOOTBALL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR: Chelsea Asian Soccer Star, QPR (Player Development Centre), Samba Soccer Schools, Young Asian Voices (Sunderland), Diversity Academy (Nottingham)
FOOTBALL FOUNDATION OF THE YEAR: Zesh Rehman Foundation, Punjabi Wolves, Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation, Osmani Trust, London Tigers
INVESTORS IN FOOTBALL: Lakshmi Mittal and Tony Fernandes (QPR), Venkatesh and Balaji Rao (Blackburn), Shahid Azeem (Aldershot FC), Ilyas Khan (Accrington Stanley)
FOOTBALL BEHIND THE SCENES AWARD ‘ADMINSITARTION’: Priti Trivedi (SPL), Raj Athwal – (Watford FC), Ravi Masih (Aston Villa FC), Sunil Kaikini (Premier League), Javed Khan (Premier League)
FOOTBALL BEHIND THE SCENES AWARD ‘MEDICAL’: Sangi Patel (QPR), Dr Zaf Iqbal (Liverpool), Jazz Sodhi (Wolves), Dr. Ansar Zaman (Wigan FC), Poora Singh (Birmingham FC)
FOOTBALL MEDIA AWARD: Manish Bhasin (BBC), Mayur Bhanji (World Sport Group), Vaishali Bhardwaj, Karthi Gnanasegaram (BBC), Rajvir Rai (The Daily Telegraph)
GRASS ROOTS HEROES: Ash Rahman (ProTouch), Bal Singh – (KFA), Butch Fazal (Luton AFC), Karl Sanghera (Concorde Juniors), Mamun Chowdhury (Beaumont Athletic)
ASIAN COMMUNITY CLUB OF THE YEAR: London Tigers (London), Beaumont Athletic (London), Sporting Bengal (London), Sporting Khalsa (Birmingham), Albion Sports (Bradford)
INSPIRATION AWARD: Rikin Shah (Power Chair User – Coach – UEFA level B), Butch Fazal (Asian Football Forum), Permi Jhooti (FIFA Ambassador), Dinesh Vijayan (Arsenal), Piara Powar (Director FARE)