Fair play encompasses many aspects of football and manifests itself in a variety of ways on and off the pitch.
It can be seen when a player helps a player on the opposing team up after a foul or when a player acts with integrity and informs a referee he or she was in fact not fouled in the penalty area and should not be awarded a penalty kick.
Fair play also extends beyond the pitch and into the crowd when the spirit of competition and respect for one another is on display. Simply put, fair play is football in its purest form.
Since 1987, FIFA has recognised exemplary fair play with the FIFA Fair Play Award.
The winner of the 2018 award was Lennart Thy, who missed a game for Dutch side VVV-Venlo against PSV Eindhoven due to making a donation of blood in order to make a stem cell transplant possible for a leukaemia patient – a potentially life-saving gesture. His remarkable selflessness was rewarded with the man of the match award by PSV – despite his absence – and his act also helped raise awareness, with the mascots for that particular game walking out onto the field wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the message: “Follow Lennart, become a stem cell donor.”
The 2019 winner will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in Milan on Monday 23 September.