FAM-AFC veteran nominated for Asian Hall of Fame

The Olympic Council of Malaysia will submit the name of former OCM President Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah for the Lifetime Achievement Award for the first Asian Sports Awards Hall of Fame on 2 November. “He has contributed a lot for sports especially in football as the Football Association of Malaysia President and also the President of the Asian Football Confederation,” said Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, who is OCM Secretary and also one of the judges for the Asian Sports Awards.

The ASA is a recognition program conceived by Stropt and Sports Ltd in collaboration with the Asian Sports Press Union. ASPU vice-president and chairman of the judging panel, George Dass, said that ASA’s Hall of Fame was formed to recognise Asian greats for their exceptional achievements worldwide. “In most cases the inductees hold world or Olympic records. This year’s list only had “living greats”, next year’s list may include those who have since passed away but whose contributions live on,” he told Aftar Singh of The Star.

Hall of Fame inductees are picked by a panel of judges comprising leading sports administrators and sports writers across Asia. Besides the induction of the 52 sports icons from Asia, there will be main awards in six main categories - Asian Sportsman of the Year, Asian Sportswomen of the Year; Asian Team of the Year (men); Asian Team of the Year (women); Lifetime Achievement Award and Humanitarian Award.

The ceremony is expected to reach some 150 million homes across Asia, thanks to a partnership with ESPN STAR Sports. In May, Stropt & Sports Chairman Datuk Vincent Lee said ESPN STAR Sports would promote the awards through ESPN SportsCenter with additional exposure on the ESPN and STAR Sports channels. Lee is also President of Naga DDB Sdn Bhd advertising agency and President of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia.

"The ASA program was developed with a dream to bind Asia together through a common agenda that builds sports celebrity role models and brand ambassadors," he told Bernama newsagency. The Asia-wide recognition, Lee said, would allow Asian sports stars to be "branded" and provide them opportunities to endorse various sports merchandise and other charitable works under the ASA's Sports for Humanity theme.

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