Apr
20
2007
  • Share it:

AFC (Asian Football Confederation)

AFC (Asian Football Confederation)

Long-serving AFC General Secretary Dato Peter Velappan stepped down at the end of 2006 after 30 years of meritorious service. Velappan, affectionately known as Dato, took over as the General Secretary of the then fledging AFC in 1977 and has since played a dynamic role in transforming the way the game is played in Asia. “The time has come to say goodbye,” Velappen told the AFC Executive Committee in November. The 71-year-old Velappan’s vision and relentless membership drive saw the AFC grow from its humble roots to over 46 countries today. On 1 January 2007, former Deputy General Secretary Dato Paul Mony Samuel took over as the new General Secretary.

Qatari Khalfan Ibrahim overcame a tough field to win the AFC Player of the Year award while China’s Ma Xiaoxu not only clinched the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award but also stormed what was hitherto a male bastion by winning the AFC Youth Player of the Year award. Ibrahim beat into second place Kuwaiti striker Badr Al Mutawa and Saudi Arabia’s utility player Mohamed Al Shlhoub in the race to be named as the best Asian player. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was awarded the Diamond of Asia, AFC’s most prestigious award. Other winners were Japan’s Kenichiro Kogure (AFS Futsal Player of the Year), Shamsul Maidin of Singapore (AFC Referee of the Year), the Australian men’s national team (AFC Men’s team of the Year), the DPR Korea women’s U-20 team (AFC Women’s Team of the Year), Choe Kwang-sok (AFC Coach of the Year), the DPR Korea Football Association (SFC Association of the Year), Japan (AFC Futsal Team of the Year) and Jeonbuk Motors of Korea Republic (AFC Club of the Year).

AFC has signed a groundbreaking sponsorship deal with ART Sport as Presenting Sponsor of the AFC Annual Awards until 2010. AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam and ART Sport Chief Executive Officer Mohideen Saleh Kamel inked a five-year contract worth over USD 2 million at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dghabi (United Arab Emirates) on the sidelines of the 2006 AFC Annual Awards.