A crying shame: No official recognition for Jorvan Vieira in AFC awards

The Asian FC awarded Iraq as the best national team which was a no brainer. But they did not give any official recognition to Jorvan Vieira, the coach that took Iraq to the winners podium in the Asia Cup. The best coach award went to Rauf Inileev of Uzbekistan.
The award is reserved exclusively for Asian nationals but Vieira’s achievement should have been honoured on par with Lennart Johnson’s service to Asian soccer, who received the Diamond of Asia. To take up a coaching job that many had quit or were forced out of because of the unrelenting violence and nepotism, daily death threats to Viera’s life and to the players, train in Syria in makeshift conditions, and in such an abbreviated time to bring together a disparate group of Iraqis with their different sectarian affiliations, and instill a sense of pride in all of Iraq in the achievements of their soccer team, was a remarkable feat against the most adverse of conditions. The AFC could have relaxed its rules just this once and no one would have begrudged Vieira his recognition. I really can’t think of too many achievements in Asian soccer other than Iraq’s victory that captured the imagination of the people around the world. It was the one bright spot in George Bush’s miserable and entirely concocted report card on Iraq.
Jorvan Vieira’s accomplishment should be recognized and not just by the Iraqi soccer federation or the Iraqi people, it should be recognized by the organization entrusted with raising the standards of Asian soccer. I think it is a silly rule to limit the coaching award to Asian nationals and it becomes even sillier when you consider the context of Vieira’s achievements.

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