Berlin, Foreign Office – May 11, 2016
The award ceremony of the GERMAN FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR held some exciting surprises for the visitors at the Foreign Office in Berlin. Right on time with the upcoming European Championship in France the award „German Football Ambassador 2016“ was granted to the France expert Gernot Rohr by the German and French Foreign Ministers Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jean-Marc Ayrault. The former world-class defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (honorary award) and the national player Emre Can (audience award) were awarded for their sportsmanship and their social engagement abroad. The presenters were former European championship top scorer Dieter Müller, Germany’s honorary captain Uwe Seeler and the general director of ‘Deutsche Welle’ Peter Limbourg.
The non-profit association to honour German coaches and players who contribute to the positive image of Germany in the world by their positive appearance was founded in 2012 by Roland Bischof. These commitments need to be promoted continuously and support social projects worldwide.
Gernot Rohr won the main prize „German Football Ambassador 2016“ for working abroad in the football sector for almost forty years. He worked in France and also many years in Africa as the coach of Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso. Rohr: „I’m German living in France and I feel European. The award makes me proud and I was very happy that it was handed out to me by my former teammate Dieter.“
Burkhard Pape, who left for Sierra Leone in 1966 working in Africa and Asia for over 40 years and the former DFB chief instructor Erich Rutemöller who coached footballer in Iran, Afghanistan and South Korea received further nominations.
The distinguished jury and the speaker presented the award in 2016. Jury member Uwe Seeler handed the award to Karl-Heinz Schnellinger with who he had played many historical games in the national team, such as the Wembley final or the „match of the century“ against Italy in the 1970 World Cup (3:4 a.e.t., Schnellinger scored the 1:1 during the normal time). Schnellinger played four World Cups, won the World Cup, European Cups, national championships and other cups; mostly with AC Milan, where he played from 1965-1974. He was considered one of the world’s best defenders. His words during the ceremony: „The price is also for my family and friends who have always supported me“. The initiator Roland Bishop added: „He has done so much for the reputation of German football, which unfortunately has received far too little attention in Germany.“
Emre Can won the audience award 2016, who’s currently facing his first European Cup final at Liverpool together with Jürgen Klopp. He won against eleven nominees in the public and international voting, in which more than 57,000 votes (2015: 32,000 votes) were cast. Toni Kroos became second, Miroslav Klose third. Corina Schröder, the former Liverpool FC player, finished fourth. That’s what the national players said according to the vote of the football fans: „It’s a great honour for me and I would like to thank all my fans
All awards and nominations are linked to the support of social projects in the countries, which are selected by the protagonists. With this year’s chosen projects in South Korea, Uganda, Burkina Faso, England and Italy, 19 projects could be supported by the German Football Ambassador Association.