By Tehran Times
Ali Karimi and Mohsen Bengar of Iran have been nominated for the 2012 AFC Player of the Year award on Sunday.
Japan, Korea Republic and China have a player each in the list.
Ali Karimi, 2004 AFC Player of the Year, returned to the list of contenders while Lee Keun-ho, who helped Korea Republic side Ulsan Hyundai win the AFC Champions League this year, Socceroos defender Lucas Neill, Iran national team centerback Mohsen Bengar and Guangzhou Evergrande’s defender Zheng Zhi have also found a place in the top five.
AFC has also announced the top three nominees for the 2012 AFC Women’s Player of the year accolade.
All the three nominees are from the Japan national team who won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Japan captain and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Homare Sawa is among the nominees alongside her teammates Aya Miyama who won the 2011 AFC Women Player of the Year and Nadeshiko striker Yuki Ogimi.
The nominees of two new categories were also announced.
The nominees for the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award are Fulham’s socceroo goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Manchester United’s Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Inter Milan’s defender Yuto Nagatomo.
Three Brazilian players have been nominated in the AFC Foreign Player of the Year award.
Sepahan’s striker Bruno Correa, 2012 ACL top scorer Ricardo Oliveira (Al Jazira) and 2012 AFC Cup champions Kuwait SC’s midfielder Rogerio de Assis Silva Coutinho are named in the list.
The awards will be presented at the AFC Annual Awards gala to be held at the Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur on November 29, 2012, according to the-afc.com.
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