Thais take lion’s share of honours at AFF Awards

Chanathip Songkrasin (left) rakes in the best player trophy for his impressive outings for the War Elephants last year.

Thailand ruled the roost at the AFF Football Awards, walking away with a handful of top honours on Saturday night in Bali, Indonesia.

Former Thailand national team boss Kiatisak Senamuang, who has resigned twice this year following a spate of poor results, picked up the best coach award, his second in two years.

Crafty playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin raked in another best player trophy for his impressive outings for the War Elephants last year.

Both Kiatisak, better known to the local fans as “Zico”, who last week quit as Thai League 1 side Port’s coach, and Chanathip had also won the same awards back in 2015 when the ceremony was held in Yangon.

And just like two years ago, Chanathip and Kiatisak rode on the success of the Thai team in winning their fourth Asean crown, claiming the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016.

“Certainly I am overjoyed with this win,” said Chanathip in a message. “I am eternally grateful for this award and it will spur me to work harder in the coming year.”

For Kiatisak, the win was a recognition of the hard work he had put in with the Thai national team.

“It had never been easy,” said Kiatisak. “The matches were very close but I am pleasantly surprised by this award.”

Asean powerhouse Thailand once again dominated proceedings at the glittering ceremony in Bali where they won a further five titles to underline their supremacy in the region.

The Thais won the best national teams — men and women — as well as the futsal team of the year awards.

The award for the best Futsal Player of the Year went to Jirawat Sornwichian, while Thailand goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing picked up the title for the Best Women Player of the Year.

In the meantime, it was announced at a press conference that the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and PSSI (Indonesian Football Association) have agreed to put forward a joint bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup.

The announcement was made at the 12th AFF Council Meeting that was held immediately after the Congress.

“Both the PSSI and the FAT have the support of their respective governments and as such, we at the AFF are supportive of this joint bid,” said Dato’ Sri Azzuddin Ahmad, the general secretary of the AFF.

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