Akram Afif, Saki Kumagai win Asian player of the year awards

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Qatar forward Akram Afif and Japan captain Saki Kumagai have been named Asian football players of the year for 2019.

The Asian Football Confederation announced the winners Monday at an awards gala in Hong Kong.

Afif helped Qatar win the 2019 Asian Cup title, and Doha-based football club Al Sadd win the national title and reach the Asian Champions League semifinals.

Al Sadd SC Manager Xavier Hernandez Creus, also known as Xavi received the award of AFC Men’s player of the Year in place of absentee Akram Afif, according to AFP.

Al Sadd will play in the Club World Cup starting next week in Qatar.

Kumagai won a fourth straight UEFA Women’s Champions League title with French club Lyon and captained Japan at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Japan lost in the round of 16 to the Netherlands.

Coaching awards were won by Chung Jung-yong of South Korea’s Under-20 team, and by Japan’s women’s coach Asako Takakura.

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