News AFC Congress Pays Tribute To Luminaries Of Asian Football

Dr. Veronica Chan Yiu Kam, Zaw Zaw and Lim Kia Tong (posthumous) are the inaugural AFC Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Service Award recipients.

The AFC Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Service Awards were presented today at a special ceremony during the 34th AFC Congress, reinforcing the Confederation’s commitment to recognise and honour those who have made transformative contributions to Asian football and, in the process, left a positive imprint on wider society.

The AFC Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Service Awards stand as a testament to the enduring spirit of leadership, innovation and dedication within Asian football, and were presented by the AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and FIFA President Gianni Infantino in front of the AFC’s Member Associations and Regional Associations.
Shaikh Salman said: “Today we honour the giants of the Asian game - dedicated leaders, both past and present, whose service and contributions have laid the groundwork for our game to flourish.
“In a first for an AFC Congress, I am delighted to recognise the exemplary services of Dr. Veronica Chan, our dear friend Zaw Zaw and the late Mr. Lim Kia Tong, and we have a duty to them, and to our future generations to ensure that the AFC remains a model Confederation in the decades to come.”

The first-ever recipient of the AFC Lifetime Achievement Award was Dr. Veronica Chan Yiu Kam from Hong Kong, China – a trailblazer who established the now-defunct Asian Ladies Football Confederation in 1965, laying the groundwork for the advancement of women's football across the Continent.
Her visionary leadership and tireless efforts paved the way for the rise of the Asian women’s game, which will mark a new era with the launch of the groundbreaking AFC Women's Champions League later this year.
Next to be honoured was Zaw Zaw, the AFC Senior Vice President and President of the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF), who received the AFC Distinguished Service Award. A prominent advocate for both football and social welfare, Zaw Zaw's exemplary initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the establishment of free treatment and quarantine hospitals, underscored the profound impact football can have in fostering positive change within communities.
Honoured posthumously was Lim Kia Tong, former President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and Chairperson of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee. Lim's enduring legacy, marked by his dedicated service to Singapore football and his pioneering role within the AFC and FIFA committees, continues to serve as an inspiration to all who aspire to leave a lasting footprint on the sport.
In a poignant moment, Lim Kia Tong’s son, graciously accepted the AFC Distinguished Service Award on behalf of his late father, highlighting the personal and profound impact of his contributions.
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