Gerald Asamoah receives FIFA Fair Play Award

A huge honour for Schalke legend Gerald Asamoah: On Monday, 11 January, the 37-year-old was presented the FIFA Fair Play Award at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Zurich. Asamoah accepted the award in honour of all clubs and individuals who have campaigned for refugees and against discrimination throughout 2015. "It’s very important to devote time to this," explained Asamoah, "and football is a great medium for promoting the fight against discrimination."

Every year, the World Football Governing Body recognises people or institutions that have conducted themselves in a way worthy of winning the Fair play award. For 2015, FIFA decided to acknowledge all those who worked in aid of refugees. "The footballing world reacted. Clubs and organisations all around the world gave what they could to support communities and refugees," said Lucas Radebe, who won the award himself in 2000. Radebe presented Asamoah with the award and praised the World Cup finalist, saying: "He played a huge role in support of refugees and is continuing to work toward their wellbeing."


The former Germany international has demonstrated this in recent months in cooperation with FC Schalke 04: Within the realms of the "Kumpelkiste" and #stehauf campaigns, the club, along with Asamoah took a clear stance on the current political debates and showed their support for underprivileged people, including a significant number of refugees, through generous donations.


Asamoah has long been involved in the promotion of integration and tolerance. This is not least because of his own personal history. His father fled to Germany from Ghana, something he explained in his speech at Zurich. Asamoah followed him at the age of 12, and he settled in Germany, experiencing first hand the importance of integration. The 37-year-old calls his interest in this a “matter of the heart.”


"This award is a great honour, not for me, but for all those who worked to help refugees," said Asamoah, who saw the award as "great encouragement for others to devote time to helping refugees in future."