• Kyodo News


Japan midfielder Homare Sawa was named the women’s Player of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation on Thursday, receiving the accolade for the second time in her career.

Sawa played a key role in helping Japan to a fourth-place finish at the Beijing Olympics this past summer. She claimed the same award when Japan reached the quarterfinals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“This is wonderful. I am happier about this year’s award than the one I got before,” Sawa said.

“Japan were able to finish with high marks. My teammates on the national squad are like my family.”

Ri Kum Suk of North Korea finished runnerup followed by Japan’s Aya Miyama.

The women’s AFC Youth Player of the Year award went to Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi.

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