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Sport builds bridges – German Football Ambassador award ceremony 

Football at the German Football Ambassador award ceremony

Football at the German Football Ambassador award ceremony, © Felix Zahn/photothek.net

09.05.2018 - Article

Football brings people together around the world. The German Football Ambassador awards were presented at the Federal Foreign Office on Tuesday (8 May).

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with the award winners and members of the jury
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas with the award winners and members of the jury© Felix Zahn/photothek.net

Shortly before the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the ball rolled into the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. For the sixth time, the German Football Ambassador Award was presented to German coaches or players who make a special contribution to promoting a positive image of Germany through their work abroad in the field of sport and society.

The award winners

Den Preis in der Kategorie Trainer erhielt Gert Engels. Der per Online-Abstimmung ermittelte Publikumspreis wurde an den Torwart des Liverpool FC, Loris Karius, verliehen. Mit dem Ehrenpreis hat die Jury Otto Pfister ausgezeichnet, der viele Jahre lang als Trainer, vor allem in Westafrika, tätig war und derzeit die afghanische Nationalmannschaft trainiert. Die Laudatio auf ihn hat Außenminister Maas gehalten: Otto Pfister habe gezeigt, „dass Spitzenleistungen möglich sind, auch wenn die Rahmenbedingungen und die sportliche Infrastruktur nicht den europäischen oder amerikanischen Standards entsprechen.“

Otto Pfister, trainer of the Afghan team, won the honorary prize
Otto Pfister, trainer of the Afghan team, won the honorary prize© Felix Zahn/photothek.net

Sport and foreign policy are closely connected 

Football unites people all around the world. “We hope that is something we will also be able to experience at the forthcoming FIFA World Cup. The World Cup can be instrumental in bringing people together through shared experiences of sport, regardless of complex political relations,” Maas said at the award ceremony. The positive impact of sport can have an effect on politics. This is one goal of the Federal Foreign Office’s International Sports Promotion, whose projects primarily foster mass sport in developing countries. Football plays a very special role in this context, making it possible to reach many people around the world and convey the message of social cohesion and international understanding more clearly.

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