The fans take centre stage

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2016™ promises to be a landmark occasion in the history of FIFA award ceremonies. For the very first time since the inaugural FIFA World Player Gala in 1991, football fans will be given a starring role in proceedings.

“Without them, football wouldn’t be the same. This is why we want to invite them to participate,” explained Zvonimir Boban, the FIFA Deputy Secretary General. His words have already been put into action. In addition to the well-established FIFA Puskás Award, voted for by users of FIFA.com, football lovers will now have a key say in a number of other awards. Not only will they be fully responsible for electing the winner of the brand-new FIFA Fan Award, but the fans’ say will also count for 25 per cent of the vote in the awards for the best players and coaches in men’s and women’s football.

“From within football, you’ve got the opinion of the captains and coaches of the national teams, those who share the profession and the knowledge of what happens on the field of play,” he continued. “But there are two other very important groups: the journalists, who analyse it all from a specific perspective, and the fans. We’re including all three of them in the voting for The Best, which makes these awards truly deserving of their title.”

In total, fan participation will make up 25 per cent of the vote. The other 75 per cent will be divided in equal parts between the national team coaches and captains from all the associations affiliated to FIFA, and media representatives from each of those countries.

Chosen by the fans, for the fansAlongside this new initiative, The Best will also now include the FIFA Fan Award, awarded to those fans who have left a mark on 2016 with their outstanding support. An expert panel made up of prestigious stars such as Boban, Gabriel Batistuta, Brazilian legend Marta and Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic will present a shortlist of three candidates, to be published on FIFA.com in December.

Once the list has been unveiled, it will be up to football lovers to choose between the three. Voting will remain open all the way up to 9 January, when the winner will be announced.

Experience The Best liveFIFA is launching a new campaign to offer a select group of fans the unique experience of attending The Best FIFA Football Awards. Via competitions on its digital platforms, 11 lucky winners will receive a trip to Zurich and tickets to the award ceremony, to be held in the heart of the city. Be sure to keep an eye out for more details, which we will be sharing soon. Have you been waiting for the chance to play an active part in world football’s most prestigious awards? Well it’s time to get ready for the party, because this time you’re all invited!

Click here to understand how the fans' vote will count.

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