The Asian Football Confederation has announced the first list of candidates for the coveted 2010 AFC Player of the Year award. The award will be presented at the AFC Annual Awards gala, which will be held at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa here in the Malaysian capital on November 24, 2010.
The list of 15 players includes Japan star Keisuke Honda, Korea Republic captain Park Ji-sung and Australian Tim Cahill.
Honda and Park played key roles in their team's progress to the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup while Cahill impressed in his side's campaign in South Africa.
The candidates have been chosen based on MVP points awarded by Match Commissioners and the AFC's Technical Study Group officers.
This initial list will be updated again in the coming weeks. One of the key criteria for winning the award is the confirmation of the nominees' attendance for the awards night.
List of candidates for 2010 AFC Player of the Year nominees (in alphabetical order; as of November 2, 2010)
Bader Al Mutawa (Kuwait/Al Qadsia, Kuwait)
Fabio Cesar (Qatar/Al Rayyan, Qatar)
Farhad Majidi (Iran/Esteghlal, Iran)
Farshid Talebi (Iran/Zob Ahan, Iran)
Hasan Abdel Fattah (Jordan/Al Karamah, Syria)
Husain Salman (Bahrain/Al Riffa, Bahrain)
Keisuke Honda (Japan/CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Kim Hyun-gil (Korea Republic/Pohang Steelers, Korea Republic)
Lee Dong-gook (Korea Republic/Jeonbuk Motors, Korea Republic)
Li Weifeng (China/Suwon Bluewings, Korea Republic)
Mohsen Bengar (Iran/Sepahan, Iran)
Osama Hawsawi (Saudi Arabia/Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia)
Park Ji-sung (Korea Republic/Manchester United, England)
Sasa Ognenovski (Australia/Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, Korea Republic)
Tim Cahill (Australia/Everton, England)