Reiner Calmund erhält den Fair Play Award 2002
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Fair play prizes are also given to teams in UEFA's various competitions and individuals who show particularly sportsmanlike behaviour are considered for the UEFA Fair Play award presented at the Monaco Gala event each August.
In August, the managing director of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Rainer Calmund, received this year's UEFA Fair Play award. The German club missed out narrowly on three trophies at the end of last season - the UEFA Champions League, the German 1. Bundesliga title and the German Cup - but Calmund reacted each time by consoling his players, congratulating the winners and showing the admirable virtue of dignity in defeat.
"It's a great honour not only for me, but for my club," said Calmund after the award. "Everyone can be proud of our achievements last season - not only the players, but also the club's supporters, who always conducted themselves in a respectable manner."
"I hope that respect among players and fans will continue to grow. We played three Champions League matches against Liverpool [FC], Manchester United [FC] and the final against Real Madrid [CF], and they were all great football festivals," he adds. "There was passion, enthusiasm and sporting rivalry - but there was respect and decency as well, and it is important to learn to lose with honour." UEFA had no hesitation in bestowing its own honour upon Calmund - and, by association, the Leverkusen club, for keeping a splendid sense of perspective at a time of shattering sporting failure.
Example for the future
UEFA will continue to reward those who uphold the values of sportsmanship. In acting in accordance with the ideals of fair play, players, officials and fans can set a vital example for young football enthusiasts of the future. The UEFA fair play definition, which is included in many of UEFA's regulations, reminds us: "It was sport that gave birth to the now widely used expression and concept of fair play." If you show respect for others in football, it is highly likely that you will earn respect in return.
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