Fair play is a fundamental part of the game of football. It represents the positive benefits of playing by the rules, using common sense and respecting fellow players, referees, opponents and fans.
To give fair play more visibility, FIFA created a programme that turned the generic notion into a simple design and an easy-to-understand code of conduct that must be recognised and respected by players and fans alike. While fair play should apply in football throughout the year, FIFA has, since 1997, dedicated one week of its international match calendar every year to praising and promoting the spirit of fair play. During these FIFA Fair Play Days, FIFA calls on its member associations to organise activities dedicated to fair play and to highlight its importance both on and off the pitch.
Fair play is also acknowledged and rewarded at every FIFA tournament. The Technical Study Group evaluates and rates the behaviour on and off the pitch of all participating teams in a FIFA competition. The FIFA Fair Play Award is then conferred upon the team with the best fair play score during the tournament.
The Annual FIFA Fair Play Award , presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala, recognises special acts of fair play and often goes to individuals or groups who otherwise enjoy little share of the spotlight.