Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

FIFA World Player Gala 2003 in Basel on 15 December

The FIFA World Player Gala 2003, THE traditional end-of-year gathering of planet football, will be held in Basel, Switzerland at 15.00h on Monday, 15 December. After the award ceremony, the festivities will continue on the field of play with the “Match against Poverty”, an initiative organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of FIFA, bringing together Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane et al in Basel’s St. Jakob Park (20.00h).

Who will follow in the footsteps of Mia Hamm and Ronaldo, crowned last year as the World Players of the Year by coaches of national teams all around the world? All will be revealed on 15 December. Voting was officially opened three weeks ago and in a fortnight’s time, FIFA will reveal in alphabetical order the names of the three players short listed for the men’s and women’s awards. Who will prevail? At the moment, it is certainly anybody’s guess!

The gala occasion will also see the presentation of a number of other awards, most notably the FIFA Fair Play Award. Ten years after its launch in 1993, the FIFA Fair Play logo has undergone a makeover with a new slogan, “My Game is Fair Play”, reaffirming its message. Apart from this new wording, the change also reflects FIFA’s renewed commitment to fair play and the major social issues in the world today.

As in the past two years, Joseph S. Blatter will also be presenting the FIFA Presidential Award. In 2001, the inaugural award honoured Marvin Lee, who was paralysed during a match while captaining the Trinidad & Tobago U-20 team. He sadly passed away in March 2003. The winner of last year’s award was Parminder Nagra, the star of the hit film “Bend It Like Beckham”, which told the story of a young girl determined to play football against the wishes of her family.

Finally, the national teams recognised as the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking Top Team of the Year and Best Mover of the Year will also be rewarded for their efforts. No such prizes will be awarded for the FIFA Women’s World Ranking, which was only launched in July 2003 and therefore too late for 2003 awards.