(6 May 2014) Qatar women’s national team coach, Monika Staab, and André Schürrle from the FC Chelsea received special honours. On Monday evening, they were named Football Ambassadors of 2014 at the Foreign Office in Berlin. In addition, coaching legend Rudi Gutendorf, who is also the patron of the initiative Deutscher Fußball Botschafter (German Football Ambassadors), was given a special certificate. These greats of the football world were awarded for their athletic and social commitment abroad. The “language” of football is spoken worldwide and has many positive effects both on and off the pitch. Therefore, the aim of the initiative supported by the Goethe-Institut is to continue to promote the commitment and esteem of German football personalities abroad and at the same time support global social projects.
The jury made Monika Staab this year’s winner of the main award. The Qatar women’s national team coach has been active on behalf of FIFA in over 60 countries and, in Muslim countries in particular, has made a mark on women’s and girls’ football. The 2014 audience award went to André Schürrle. In a public and international poll during which over 37,000 votes were cast, the centre forward for FC Chelsea won over the other eleven nominees who included Nadine Angerer, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose.
According to the request of the winners, the earmarked prize money will be sent to charitable projects in Qatar and Syria as well as England. Since early 2013, ten projects have already been funded around the world by the initiative.
During the event, the Foreign Office also opened the exhibition Football Worldwide , presenting international sport advancement and development in the Federal Republic of Germany. It will remain open until 18 July.