Nassir Al Shamrani gets AFC award nod despite spit spat

Al Hilal`s Nassir Al Shamrani has been shortlisted for Asian player of the year despite causing controversy when he angrily spat at an opponent and sparked a melee at the AFC Champions League final.

Kuala Lumpur: Al Hilal`s Nassir Al Shamrani has been shortlisted for Asian player of the year despite causing controversy when he angrily spat at an opponent and sparked a melee at the AFC Champions League final.

The striker`s goal-laden tournament ended on a sour note when he spat at Western Sydney Wanderers` Matthew Spiranovic on the final whistle of their 1-0 aggregate win, prompting a shoving match.

There was no room on the shortlist for any Wanderers players, despite their achievement in becoming Australia`s first Asian champions and on their tournament debut.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said the "fiery" Al Shamrani got the nod after scoring 10 goals for Al Hilal in Asia`s club showpiece.

Joining Shamrani on the shortlist are Al Ain defender Ismail Ahmed and Qatar`s Khalfan Ibrahim, the 2006 AFC player of the year who turns out for Al Sadd.

The Wanderers` overlooked stand-outs include goalkeeper Ante Covic, who was named the AFC Champions League`s most valuable player and pulled off a string of saves in the final.

However, Covic was also involved in one of Al Hilal`s vociferous penalty appeals when he brought down Salman Al Faraj during the second leg in Riyadh.

The Saudi giants later called the final a "black spot in the history of Asian football" and cast aspersions over its "integrity and fairness", claiming six disallowed penalties over the two legs.

Meanwhile two-time women`s winner Aya Miyama of Japan was nominated for a third award, along with compatriot Nahomi Kawasumi and Australia`s Katrina Gorry.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Manila on November 30.

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