The first ever Asian Football Awards (AFA) will take place at Wembley Stadium on 24th January 2012 where outstanding UK Asians will be honoured. This inaugaral event is expected to attract a premier list of guests to gather, support and celebrate outstanding Asians in football.
The AFA has been launched to recognise the great contribution to both the professional game and grassroots initiatives by individuals and groups across the UK with South Asian heritage. The FA and Kick It Out are supporting this landmark initiative.
The events primary objective is to create an awareness of the positive efforts made by Asians within the UK football industry. It also aims to engage with organisations and individuals to help increase Asian participation levels in the UK.
The AFA are proud to announce that Sporting Equals are to be the Legacy Partner for the 2012 event. There has been tremendous support since the announcement of the awards last November that the organisers have decided that all profits will be used for legacy projects and future bursary disbursements for young elite Asian players.
Some of the AFA nominations include: Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town), Danny Batth (Wolves FC/Sheff Wed), Dr Zaf Iqbal (Liverpool FC), Manish Bhasin (BBC), The Zesh Rehman Foundation, Anwar Uddin (Barnet FC), Permi Jhooti (FIFA Ambassador), Chelsea Asian Soccer Star, Javed Khan (Premier League),Tony Fernandes and Lakshmi Mittal (QPR FC).
David Bernstein, FA Chairman: “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.”
Baljit Rihal, Co-Founder Asian Football Awards:
“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.”
Arun Kang, CEO Sporting Equals:
“Sporting Equals are delighted to be the legacy partner of the Asian Football Awards and believe that our Talent ID Programme, will provide real opportunities for talented young people to be exposed to high performance coaching, developing their skills and encourage more diversity in professional football. We believe our partnership with the AFA can both deliver a meaningful legacy and continue to support our wider work. Sporting Equals welcomes and recognises the importance of celebrating the achievements of Asians in football, looks forward to the AFA becoming a key annual event for the future, and working with them and other partners to facilitate change.”
Shalin Patel, Head of UK Marketing, Sony Entertainment Network “As an organisation, we have always had a close association with raising the profile of sport in the British Asian community and the Asian Football Awards are an exciting initiative which we are proud to associate with and help build support for. Good luck to everyone involved.”
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