FIFA has now fixed the date for its first worldwide Fair Play Day later this year: the dates chosen are 20/21 September 1997. September was considered ideal for this event because it is generally the most active footballing month of the year all around the world.
The initiative has been taken by FIFA with the aim of intensifying the Fair Play campaign it originally launched in 1988. Since then FIFA has actively been spreading the message of fair play in a variety of ways. At the end of 1995, it established a Code of Conduct and, at the recent 1998 World Cup qualifier in Monaco between Estonia and Scotland, it introduced a referee's FIFA Fair Play coin to decide ends before the game. Furthermore, FIFA has awarded a Fair Play Trophy at its competitions for several years and, since 1987, it has honoured teams, associations or people who have excelled through their model behaviour and sporting spirit. George Weah in 1996, the Trinidad and Tobago fans in 1989 and Gary Lineker in 1990 are just a few examples.
FIFA will involve all its 198 member associations and the six Confederations in the global Fair Play Day. The associations are being urged to emphasise the crucial importance of Fair Play in every situation and to publicise the message at specially organised events on the day.