Three Japanese soccer players, part of the squad that won the silver in the recent London Olympics, are nominated for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. Midfielders Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama and goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto are the three who made it to the short list. Norio Sasaki, coach of the women’s national team, Nadeshiko Japan, and Hiroshi Yoshida, who coached Japan’s Under-20 and Under-17 national squads are nominated for the Women’s Coach of the Year honors.
The shortlist was chosen by FIFA committee members and France Football magazine. After voting by the captains and head coaches of all women’s national teams, plus selected international media representatives, the three finalists will be revealed on November 29, while the winner will be awarded at FIFA’s annual gala in Zurich on January 7, together with the other annual awards.
Both Sawa and Sasaki were the winners in their respective categories last year. This year, the Japanese players (World Cup winners in 2011) face stiff competition from the US Women’s Team, with four of their gold medal winning team nominated: Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe. Five-time winner Marta from Brazil, France’s Camille Abily and Canada’s Christine Sinclair round-up the list.
The shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or (best male player) and the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football will be announced on October 29.
[ via NZWeek ]
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