Team Mell’s Ali Asghar Hasanzadeh won the AFC Player of the year 2016 award beating his compatriots Ahamd Esmaeilpour and Farhad Tavakoli for Asia’s best futsal player title. Meanwhile , Iran’s football federation FFIRI boycotted the AFC Annual Awards ceremony in protest against several issues by AFC including the bias of AFC towards Saudi Arabia , discrimination against Iran and finally the lack of recognition of Team Melli players.
Mehdi Taj and Alireza Asadi plus the PR manager of the FFIRI were on the invited list but never made the trip to Abu Dhabi. Despite the fact that Iran has been the best Asian Team for the past 23 months running , no Iranian players were included in the shortlist of candidates. Abu Dhabi, out of all the 7 UAE emirates, has also been quitw hostile towards Iran and fighting against the Al Houthi clan in Yemen .
In the ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, Iranian referees won recognition as Alireza Faghani, Reza Sokhandan and
Mohammad Reza Mansouri were awarded AFC Referees Special Award 2016
AFC Futsal Player of the Year Nominees
- Aliasghar Hasanzadeh (IR Iran)
- Ahmad Esmaeilpour (IR Iran)
- Farhad Tavakoli (IR Iran)
AFC Referees Special Award
Alireza Faghani (IR Iran)
Reza Sokhandan (IR Iran)
Mohammad Reza Mansouri (IR Iran)