Al Sadd's Afif, Al Gharafa's Martins Bag Top QFA Awards

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Fawad Hussain |The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Al Sadd talisman Akram Afif was named the Best Player while Al Gharafa tactician Pedro Martins was picked as the Best Coach at the Qatar football Association – QFA Awards for the 2023-2024 Season yesterday.

Minister of Sports and Youth H E sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, a former QFA President, also received the Order of Achievement award from QFA President Jassim bin Rashid Al Buenain during the prestigious ceremony that took place at the Qatar National convention Center.

Qatar national team's players pose for a group photo during the honouring ceremony. PICTURES: RAJAN VADAKKEMURIYIL / The Peninsula

Late national coach Captain Saeed Al Misnad was also declared the winner of the Order of Achievement award for his remarkable feats and services towards the success of local clubs and the national teams.

Also yesterday, Al Arabi's Jassim Jaber clinched the Best U-23 Player award for his fine performance in the recently-concluded season. The winners were selected based on their performance in the top flight Qatar Stars League which was held as the Expo Stars League (ESL) in the last edition with Al Sadd winning the title.

Afif's performance made the difference for Al Sadd in their title triumph as he finished as the top scorer in the League with 26 goals besides 11 assists. Al Gharafa captain Yacine Brahimi and Al Rayyan forward Roger Guedes were the other nominees for the coveted accolade.

Minister of Sports and Youth H E Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani receives the Order of Achievement Award from QFA President Jassim bin Rashid Al Buenain. PICTURE: RAJAN VADAKKEMURIYIL / The Peninsula

The 27-year-old, who also took the 'Mansour Muftah Award' handed to League's leading scorer, was delighted saying his teammates equally deserve the credit for his highly successful season.

“I might not be able to perform like this with any other side. It was not only my effort, it was the entire team that made it possible. The administration and the medical staff everybody was involved and I thank them for their tremendous support,” said Afif after receiving his award.

Martins, who led Al Gharafa to third place in the ESL, was chosen over Al Sadd's Wesam Rizk and Al Rayyan's Leonardo Jardim. The Portuguese coach was in charge in all the 22 matches during the League, winning 13 games and drawing five besides four defeats.

“It was a tough season and the competitions for titles were fantastic. The games were really good and the next season will be the same,” the Al Gharafa coach said.

Qatar international Jaber was influential in Al Arabi's campaign as they finished among the top five teams in the ESL. He outnumbered Al Sadd's Mostafa Meshal and Al Shamal player Mahdi Salem in the voting process, involving football officials, coaches and media representatives, to pick the Best U-23 Player award.

Al Sadd forward Akram Afif poses with Best Player and Mansour Muftah awards, Al Gharafa's Pedro Martins poses with the Best Coach Award, and Al Arabi's Jassim Jaber won the Best U-23 Player award ( From left to right).

Meanwhile, Taleb Salem, Salman Falahi, Saoud Ahmed and Khamis Al Marri won the Best Referees accolades for the season.

During the ceremony, the Qatar national team players were also honoured by a number of companies and supporters including QIIB, Qatar Airways, Ooredoo and Qatar National Bank.

Striker Almoez Ali and goalkeeper Meshaal Barshim besides Abdulaziz Hatem and Mohammed Waad participated in the honouring ceremony held to recognise Al Annabi's achievement of winning the AFC Asian Cup for a second time in a row.


The Peninsula

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