The first ever Asian Football Awards supported by The FA and Kick It Out, with Sporting Equals as its legacy partner saw leading figures come out to support the glitzy event at the home of football, Wembley Stadium.
Guests for this event included David Bernstein (FA Chairman), Paul Elliot, Graham Le Saux, Piara Powar, Mihir Bose, Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) and award winners Michael Chopra and Manish Bhasin.
The AFA managed to engage with key representatives of those individuals working hard to engage with their communities and develop Asians within the game. The event brought together representatives of clubs and organisations such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa, QPR, Wolves, Charlton, Liverpool, The PFA and many leading Asian organisations. Imran Hassan Co-Founder Asian Football Awards “It was really pleasing seeing so many key figures supporting and enjoying the awards, but the hard work begins now in our legacy programme.”
“A very big congratulations to all the nominees and winners, it really was truly inspirational to see so many role models, in particular nominees like Rikin Shah and Lifetime Achievement recipient Jarnail Singh” Baljit Rihal Co-Founder Asian Football Awards “The first ever Asian Football Awards was a celebration of the success of Asians in all aspects of UK football. We are proud to have created the awards which we are confident will be an annual high profile event.” Arun Kang CEO Sporting Equals “Sporting Equals was delighted to be a partner at the first ever Asian Football Awards. It was a fantastic evening celebrating the significant contribution that British Asians are making in the game at all levels, congratulations to allthe nominees.
I believe the strength of the awards is that they not only showcase elite players like Michael Chopra the Player of the Year, but also the considerable impact that Asians are making in coaching, sports medicine and administration, creating new role models and inspiring the next generation. We are now looking forward to finding talent, engaging and empowering communities through SE Talent id the legacy programme of the Asian Football Awards 2012.” Russell Atkinson, Managing Director Lebara Mobile added “We are proud to be a part of the first ever Asian Football Awards, recognising excellence and inspiring future generations of Asians into the sport. At Lebara, we are passionate about supporting activities, such as football, that are important to our customers. We are honoured to be associated with Michael Chopra, a highly deserving winner of the Player of the Year Award.”
The winners of the inaugural Asian Football Awards:
The Player of the Year Award (Sponsored by Lebara Mobile) – Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town)
The Young Player of the Year (Sponsored by Inventive Sports) – Danny Batth (Wolves/Sheff Wed)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jarnail Singh (referee)
Football Media Award (Sponsored by Sony Entertainment Network) – Manish Bhasin (BBC)
Investors in Football – Tony Fernandes and Lakshmi Mittal (QPR)
Coach of the Year (Sponsored by Action Images) – Nas Bashir (Hayes and Yeading)
Asian Woman in Football – Rimla Akhtar
Foundation of the Year – Osmani Trust
Behind the Scenes – Administration – Raj Athwal (Watford FC)
Behind the Scenes – Medical (Sponsored by SportsRecruit.co.uk) – Dr Zaf Iqbal (Liverpool FC)
Grass Roots Hero (Sponsored by AsiansInFootball.com)– Bal Singh (The KFA)
Asian Community Club of the Year – London Tigers
Inspiration Award – Permi Jhooti
Football Development Project of the Year (Sponsored by Sporting Equals) – Diversity Academy
The Asian Football Awards will be aired on Sony Entertainment Network on Friday 10th February 2012. Sky Channel 782 Virgin – TV Channel 806