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FIFPro presented daily fair play awards to eight players who showed great sportsmanship or outstanding behaviour at the Homeless World Cup in Oslo, over the last two weeks.

On behalf of FIFPro, the world player union, eight awards were handed out by active and former professional footballers, including former Norwegian international Erlend Hanstveit.

“Football is a game that involves more than scoring the most goals,” said Hanstveit, who is also the vice president of Norwegian player union NISO.

“Friendship, respect and loyalty are equally important. That is true in every team, at every level around the world.”

Hanstveit is also the coach of the homeless football team of Norwegian premier league club Brann Bergen.

Other former professionals who appeared at the ceremonies were Vidar Riseth, Peter Werni, Erlin Knudtzon, John Knudsen, Tony Higgins, Jason Lee, Terry Angus and John Hudson.

They witnessed how much the recognition meant for the winners, who celebrated the award exuberantly with their teammates.

“For the winners, the award is a confirmation that they are all on the right track and it will help increase their self-esteem,” Hanstveit said.

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Three Winners

Small gestures say a lot at the Homeless World Cup. Dirk Rondas received the fair play award because the Belgian goalkeeper gave his jacket to an Italian referee who was suffering from the chilly weather in Oslo. Later the referee gave Rondas an official Italian referee shirt.

Rondas’ teammate Fabian Thyssen was very disappointed when his error late in a game led to a defeat. Though clearly frustrated the Belgian captain managed to regain his composure and sincerely congratulated the opponents with their win.

Greek award winner Apostolos Petridis had been trying in vain to score a goal, which is quite unique at the high-scoring event. When, after five days, he finally put a ball in the back of the net, his teammates and opponents all came over to congratulate him.

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