Baichung Bhutia Nominated For Arabian Soccer Weekly's Top Asian Award
The captain of Indian football team Bhaichung Bhutia has been nominated as one of the recipients of top Asian award instituted by a pan-Arab Abu Dhabi soccer weekly named 'Super'. The award from the Arabian soccer weekly also carries a prize money of USD 100,000. The board of trustees for the awards has Italian World Cup final referee Pierluigi Collina as the president. Sheikh Hazaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi who is also the chairman of the city's sports council is reported to have sponsored the awards.
Apart from Bhutia, there are 42 candidates who are also nominated for the top footballer of Asia award. The list includes South Korean and Manchester United winger Park Ji Sung, Japan playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura, Thai striker Nantawat Thansopa, Saudi Arabia's Yasser Al Qahtani and Iraq's Nashaat Akram. Besides the 43 Asian contenders, there are 24 candidates from Africa for African top player awards.
When asked about the nomination, an elated Bhaichung Bhutia said that it gives great pleasure when some one gets nominated for any award. It's like you are being rewarded for your hard work, he added. Only a couple days ago, the Indian footballer has been conferred with player of the year for 2008 title by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Bhutia was the captain of Indian football team which won the AFC Challenge Cup title earlier this year. The ace Indian soccer player represents Kolkata's Mohan Bagan at club level. The Indian skipper is currently in Goa for the national camp.