Taipower not only walked away with the AFC President's Cup trophy last night, they also picked up the competition awards for the Top Goalscorer and the Most Valuable Player. With 4 players on five goals each and Crown's Kingsley Njoku on 4 goals for the whole tournament, it was Taipower's Ming-Chan He, with his two goals in last night's final, that leap-frogged everyone to collect the goalscorer's trophy. The Abdullah Al Dabal (former FIFA executive committee member) Most Valuable Player award also went to a Taipower player, forward Po-Liang Chen, who got the nod over other worthy candidates. The AFC Fair Play Award went to Neftchi Kochkor-Ata. The Kygrzystan team failed to make it out of Group B but picked up the award anyway. All of these awards were made by the AFC suits, so aside from the top scorer, no-one has any idea how they arrived at these results.
To say that I am completely underwhelmed by the suits at the AFC is a massive understatement. Ranging from their absurd decision to allow Taipower to wear their preferred playing kit for the final, to their complete dereliction of duty of care when Crown were sent to the wrong training facility a day before the final, to their selection of the Final referee, who was let's say, less than equitable with his decisions, as well as misinformation about the online screening of matches and other questions that were deflected or went unanswered. They even made David Booth sit through two post-match press conferences last night, which is a misnomer in itself, as at every press conference we attended, there was one western journalist working for the AFC website and that was it. A complete lack of Taiwanese journalists was frankly, an embarrassment. Equally, the attendance at the Final last night was also a joke. Just over 3,200 people bothered to turn up in a country where Baseball rules the roost and no-one seems to give a fig for football. If the premise behind awarding Taiwan the final stage of this year's AFC President's Cup was designed to help promote football in this nation, it fell completely on its arse. If I sound bitter, then that's because I am. If we had been treated with due respect and equality then we'd have no complaints, but we clearly were not and the decision of the match referee in time added on was the icing on the cake. We have to deal with our irresponsible behaviour that followed, but I really think the AFC need to look at the part they played in setting the scene.