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New Delhi: A host of inspirational medical professionals were recognised for their endeavours on Monday at the first ever AFC Football Medical Awards.

Held on the sidelines of the 5th AFC Medical Conference in New Delhi, India, the AFC Football Medicine Awards have been designed to acknowledge and recognize the contribution of medical professionals to the development of football and, at the same time, serve as an inspiration to others to continue their involvement in the game at all levels.

Among the inaugural winners were medical luminaries Dr. Michel D’Hooghe and Professor Jiri Dvorak who both received the AFC President’s Award for Football Medicine, former AFC Medical Committee Vice-Chairman Dr. Krishnamoorthy Sittampalam from Singapore who was honoured with the AFC Merit Award for Football Medicine Japan’s Dr. Saita Yoshitomo who received the AFC Young Medical Officer Award as well as In addition, some 18 other professionals received AFC Distinguished Gold, Silver and Bronze Service Awards for their services their respective professions.

Commenting ahead of the awards ceremony, AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “Asia stands at the very forefront of innovation in all areas of football and we are grateful that you ensure that we are at the cutting edge of Sports Medicine.

“Tonight we acknowledge those people who have won awards but we also recognise the efforts of many others in the field.”

AFC President’s Award for Football Medicine

The most prestigious award for medical personnel who have made a valued and balanced contribution to the development of football medicine in Asia.

Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium) D’Hooghe is Chairman of the FIFA Medical Committee and a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, Honorary President of the Belgium Football Association and President of Football Club of Bruges to name but a few positions. He is a highly respected physician within the medical fraternity as a senior specialist in sports medicine and rehabilitation with vast experience in the field of football medicine. His popularity among the international sports medicine fraternity has been the driving force behind a number of high level international sports medicine conferences and medical research projects, namely the famous “sports medicine conferences of Brugge” spanning over a period of 25 years. He is currently Chairman of the UEFA Medical Committee and is a strong advocate of evidence based medical practice.

Professor. Jiri Dvorak (Switzerland) Dvorak is currently Professor at the University of Zurich, a Senior Consultant in Neurology at the Schulthess Spine Center in Zurich and Chief Medical Officer to FIFA. In addition he is Senior Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Deputy Editor of SPINE, and has widely published 320 original articles and 48 books in different languages.  He has contributed to spine research with original papers on clinical biomechanics of spine and neurophysiology, in particular establishing the Multimodal Intra-operative Monitoring as routine procedure for all demanding spine surgeries in his institution.

His current research activities are focused on prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases using the popularity of football within a larger project “Football for Health” as well as prevention of head and brain injuries. In 1994 he became the Chairman of F-MARC (FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre) and Chief Medical Officer to FIFA. He currently sits on the IOC Medical and Science Committee and is a member of the WADA Health, Medicine and Science Committee.

AFC Merit Award for Football Medicine

Dr. Krishnamoorthy Sittampalam (Singapore)

Vice-Chairnan AFC Medical Committee (1987)
Member, AFC Medical Committee (1993 – 1995)
Chairman, Singapore FA  Medical Committee (1978 – 1996)
Vice-Chairman, Singapore FA Welfare Committee Council Member, Singapore FA Council Member (2001 – 2005)

AFC Young Medical Officer

The AFC Young Medical Officer Award is given to medical officers aged 45 years abd below who have been actively involved in football and who have made commendable contributions to the game through research and development.

Dr. Saita Yoshitomo (Japan)

Team doctor for Japan’s women’s U-18, U-19, U-20 and national team (2008 – 2014)
Team doctor for JEF United Ichihara-Chiba FC (2005 – 2014)
Has received various awards such as the ASBMR Young Investigator Award and the Plenary Poster Award
Has published various research on operative treatment for ACL Injury, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment in football players and the prevention of ACL injury in women’s football.

AFC Distinguished Gold Service Awards (for 25 years dedicated service)


Prof. Haruhito Aoki, M.D.



Dr. Nisith Chowdhury



Prof. Yoon Young Sul

Korea Republic


Dr. Ajaya Shumshere J.B. Rana



Dr. Paisal Chantarapitak


AFC Distinguished Silver Service Awards (for 20 years dedicated service)


Dr. Mya Lay Sien



Dr. Alfred Khoury



Mr. Sivanasvaran  A/L Suppiah



Dr. Jalel Ghali

Tunisia / UAE

AFC Distinguished Bronze Service Awards (for 15 years dedicated service)


Dr. Michiko Dohi-Tashima



Dr. Ali Emran



Dr. Parhan Khanlari

IR Iran


Dr. Terlochan Singh



Dr. Rashid Bin Basheer Al Tounisi

Saudi Arabia


Dr. Djamel Benkhelifa

France/Saudi Arabia


Mr. Avezov Farrukh



Dr. Abdullah Hassan Baroon Ali



Dr. Nguyen Van Phu