Asian honour down to three
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The race for Asian Player of the Year has been narrowed down to just three players.The race for Asian Player of the Year has been narrowed down to just three players.
From the original list of ten, the Asian Football Confederation have revealed that the award will go to one of Sami Al Jaber, Hamad Al Montashari and Maksim Shatskikh.
Most of the ten had been European-based and would not have been able to attend the awards gala in November - and because of this they have been ruled out of the reckoning.
Those who have been ruled out of contention include Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung, Lee Young-pyo of Spurs, Bolton's Hidetoshi Nakata, Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura and Bayern Munich's Ali Karimi - who is the current holder of the honour.
Sam Ka, general secretary of the Korean Football Association, admitted his FA were not too happy with the ruling.
"We understand that it would be better for the player to attend the ceremony, but we still believe that the best player deserves the award, not the player who is able to attend," said Ka.
"It's not only about Park or Lee Young-pyo. There's Nakamura, Nakata and other European-based players who cannot win as well."
The final decision will be announced in Kuala Lampur on November 30.