Football: Saudi striker who faces ban is named AFC Player of the Year

MANILA (REUTERS) - Saudi striker Nasser Al Shamrani, who faces an eight-game ban for spitting and head butting an opponent in the final of the Asian Champions League earlier this month, was controversially named AFC Player of the Year on Sunday.

Al Shamrani pipped Qatari playmaker Khalfan Ibrahim and United Arab Emirates defender Ismail Ahmed to the prize after scoring 10 goals in the AFC Champions League campaign this term.

However, the prizegiving came just hours after Yemen's Hamid Al Shaibani, deputy chairman of the Asian Football Confederation's disciplinary committee, revealed the striker would be banned for eight games to the waslnews media portal.

The report said the ban, the least he could have received after being found guilty, is only for matches in the AFC Champions League, meaning he will be free to represent his country at the Asian Cup in January and his club Al Hilal in domestic competition.