The 8th edition of the ceremony comprises different shows
Al Marri: Technical criteria adopted for nominations, voting determined shortlists
The UAE Pro League has continued its preparations for the 2020-2021 season awards ceremony scheduled for Monday, August 16, at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The traditional season-ending annual gala honors and celebrates the stars of each season based on their technical performances, voting of clubs, fans, and media.
The UAEPL redoubled its efforts over the past few days as they prepared for what’s expected to be a dazzling celebration. This year’s event in Abu Dhabi marks the 8th edition of the gala, which was first held in 2013 and was canceled last season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hassan Taleb Al Marri, UAEPL board member and chairman of the technical committee, said the awards voting drew a high turnout following a tightly contested season at both the team and individual levels. Al Marri added that the high level of participation reflects the fans’ excitement for the winners’ announcement and the new season.
The initial lists of nominees were chosen by a panel of technical experts based on statistics and top technical performances in the past season. Each category was then shortlisted to three nominees following the voting of the club representatives (coaches and captains), media representatives, and fans, which is the same mechanism adopted at The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Who are the nominees for this year’s awards?
The shortlists see three players compete for the Golden Ball Award for the best Emirati player: Abdullah Ramadan, Ali Mabkhout (Al Jazira), and Fabio Lima (Al Wasl). Competition for the Golden Ball Award for the best foreign player is now down to the final three; Joao Pedro (Bani Yas), Ryan Mendes (Al Nasr), and Thulani Serero (Al Jazira).
The three-man shortlist for the Leader Award handed to the best coach includes Daniel Isaila (Bani Yas), Marcel Keizer (Al Jazira), and Abdulaziz AlAnbari (Sharjah). Between the sticks, the nominees for the Golden Glove Award are Ali Khaseif (Al Jazira), Fahad Al Dhanhani (Bani Yas), and Adel Al Hosani (Sharjah).
Three youngsters battle for the Golden Boy Award for the best Emirati young player: Majid Rashid (Ittihad Kalba), Ahmed Al Hammadi (Al Dhafra), and Ali Saleh (Al Wasl). Meanwhile, the newly introduced Golden Boy Award for the best young player (resident or born in UAE) will see competition between Igor Jesus (Shabab Al Ahli), Ahmed Abunamous (Bani Yas), and Oumar Traoré (Al Jazira).
Three players vie for the Fans' Player of the Year award: Omar Khrbin (Al Wahda), Fabio Lima (Al Wasl), and Ismail Matar (Al Wahda). Meanwhile, the three finalists for the Goal of the Year Award are Omar Khrbin (Al Wahda), Yahia Nader (Al Ain), and Ismail Matar (Al Wahda). The Best Online Sports Platform Award is contested between Sport 4 All, UAE Soccer, and Action_News.
The winner of the Pro League Licensing Award, a criteria-based award, is also set to be revealed at the ceremony. It will be handed to the club that meets the criteria of the club licensing system, quality control, administrative penalties, cooperation, and overall ranking in all competitions except for the Super Cup match.
Meanwhile, the awards for the statistics-based category include the Dream Team award, the Golden Shoe for the league's top scorer, the Silver Shoe for the top scorer of the U21 league, and the Fantasy Manager of the Year.