New Delhi:India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has been named as one of the contenders to receive a top Asian award by a pan-Arab Abu Dhabi soccer weekly, 'Super'.
The Arabian soccer weekly is honouring top players in Asia, Africa and among Arabian nations and the award carries a purse of $100,000 in each category.
Italian World Cup final referee Pierluigi Collina has been roped in as president of the board of trustees for the award sponsored by Sheikh Hazaa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi who is also the chairman of the city's sports council.
Bhaichung is among 43 candidates in fray 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.
Bhaichung was elated at receiving the nomination. "It feels great to be nominated. It is always nice and wonderful to be noticed for your hard work," said Bhaichung, who is now in Goa for the national camp.
The candidates for the African player award number 24 and include several stars playing in top clubs of Europe including Didier Drogba, Emmanuel Adebayor, Michael Essien, Mahamadou Diarra, Frederic Kanoute and Amir Zaki.
The contenders: Asia (43): Mohammed Nour, Abdoh Otaif, Saad Al-Harthi, Yasser Al-Qahtani, Hussein Abdulghani (Saudi Arabia), Mehdi Mahdavikia, Gholamreza Rezaei, Javad Nekounam, Ali Karami, Ebrahim Sadeghi (Iran), Yuji Nakazawa, Yasuhito Endo, Shunsuke Nakamura, Shinji Kagawa, Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Japan), Noor Sabri, Nashat Akram, Hawar Mulla Mohammed, Mahdi Karim, Younis Mahmoud (Iraq), Jason Culina, Brett Emerton, Tim Cahill, Travis Dodd (Australia), Odil Ahmedov, Server Djeparov, Maksim Shatskikh, Jasur Hasanov (Uzbekistan), Park Ji-Sung, Kim Do Heon (South Korea), Hong Yong-Jo, Jong Tae-Se (N Korea), Ismail Matar (UAE), Alaa Hebeel (Bahrain), Bhaichung Bhutia (India), Nantawat Thansopa (Tailand), Ali Al Habsi (Oman), Sebastin Soria (Qatar), Ali Ishfaq (Maldives), Ahmed Ajab (Kuwait), Khurshed Makhmudov (Tajikistan), Bambang Pamungkas (Indonesia), and Vu Nhu Thanh (Vietnam).
Africa (24): Mahamadou Diarra, Seydou Keita, Frederic Kanoute, Mohamed Sissoko (Mali), Mohamed Aboutrika, Amr Zaki, Essam El-Hadary (Egypt), Obafemi Martins, Steven Warjo, John Obi Mikel (Nigeria), Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, Junior Agogo (Ghana), Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo), Younes Al Shibane (Libya), Stephane Sessegnon (Benin), Faisal Al-ajab, Haitham Mustafa (Sudan), Ibrahim Kargbo (Sierra Leon), Tresor Mputu (Congo), Ousman Jallow (Gambia).
Arabia (26): Mohamed Aboutrika, Amr Zaki, Essam El Hadary, Abdrab Ahmed Hassan (Egypt), Mohammed Nour, Mohamed Al-Deayea, Yasser Al-Qahtani, Hussein Abdulghani (S Arabia), Marouane Chamakh, Hicham Aboucherouane, Tarik Sektioui, Soufiane Alloudi (Morocco), Ismail Matar (UAE), Alaa Hebeel and Mahmoud Abdulrahman (Bahrain), Khalfan Ibrahim, Sebastin Soria (Qatar), Ahmed Ajab (Kuwait), Al Habsi (Oman), Nashat Akram, Hawar Mulla Mohammed (Iraq), Tarik El Tayeb (Libya), Rafiq Saife (Algeria), Amine Chermiti (Tunisia), Faisal Al-ajab (Sudan).