City midfielder wins award at Wembley eventCardiff City and South Korea star Kim Bo-Kyung has been named South-East Asian Player of the Year at the 2013 Asian Football Awards at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Attacking midfielder Kim, 24, was a creative force in Cardiff’s successful promotion campaign last season. He has 21 caps for his country and was a squad member at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Speaking on the award, the City midfielder said: "It is a great honour for myself, and for my club Cardiff City, to have won this award."
Kim’s rivals for the South-East Asian Player of the Year award, sponsored by Korea Foods, – were Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United & Japan) and Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea City & South Korea).
The Asian Football Awards (AFA) aim to improve the awareness of the positive impact made by Asians within the UK football industry and to engage with organisations and individuals to help increase participation levels.
AFA founder Baljit Rihal said: "I can proudly say that the Asian Football Awards has already encouraged more Asians to get involved in every aspect of the game, and will continue to do so. Our vision remains to support the growth of UK Asians in football.
"Since our inaugural event last year, the support from across the industry has been astonishing, but we are not just concerned with increasing Asian participation on the field. Our aim is also to help make the hierarchies of organisations that govern football more reflective of the society within which we live."
The hosts for the awards evening were BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan and Sky Sports News presenter Dharmesh Sheth, while the judging panel included representatives from The FA, The PFA and Kick It Out, as well as the chief executive officer of International Airlines Group, Willie Walsh, the BBC Sport presenter Manish Bhasin and Amit Bhatia, the vice-chairman of Queens Park Rangers FC.
The AFA are also continuing their engagement with grassroots football. In association with Goals Soccer Centres they hosted the first Asian nationwide five-a-side tournament – The AFA Trophy – throughout May and June, with more than 200 teams taking part.
The Awards have Goals Soccer Centres as their headline sponsor, and are also supported by The Football Association, Kick It Out, The Professional Footballers’ Association, Show Racism The Red Card and Sporting Equals.