Wednesday, September 21, 2005

FIFpro World XI Player Awards

The inaugural awards ceremony for the FIFpro World XI Player Awards took place at the BBC Television studios in west London on Monday. FIFpro is a global representative body for all professional football players, and the awards were selected via a secret ballot of the organisation's 38,000 members. Top honour went to Barcelona's Brazilian player Ronaldinho, with Manchester United's England star Wayne Rooney winning the Young Player of the Year Award. The ceremony, produced by Celador Music and Events, will be broadcast to a global audience of over 150 million viewers. The event was a mixture of football accolades and popular entertainment. Hosted by TV presenter Denise van Outen and singer turned actor Martin Kemp, the guests included actress Minnie Driver and pop star Rachel Stevens. In fact, such was the mixture of football and entertainment celebrities that media organisations were faced with a dilemma - should they send their sports or entertainment journalists to cover the event? According to one report, the best efforts of the PR people to secure coverage of their pop stars and actors were met with bemused looks from grizzled soccer hacks. It remains to be seen how the event will go down with the broadcast public.