France Football said it chose Socrates because of his commitment to a campaign.© AFP
Ballon d’Or organizers on Wednesday said they would add a humanitarian award to this year’s ceremony in the name of elegant Brazilian midfielder Socrates, who also holds a medical degree. “The Socrates Prize will determine the best social initiative of committed champions,” said a statement from France Football magazine, which awards the Ballon d’Or. Those initiatives will include those promoting social inclusion, protecting the environment, or providing aid to marginalized, threatened groups or victims of conflict.
France Football said it chose Socrates, who died in 2011 aged 57, for his commitment to the campaign he helped organize at his club, Corinthians in Sao Paulo, while Brazil was under the regime. military dictatorship called “Corinthian democracy”.
While they were warned to stop meddling in political affairs, the players escaped punishment because of their high reputation and because they focused solely on introducing democracy at their clubs. , insists there is a vote on the decision on how the club is run.
The award will be presented by a jury that includes former Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Rai, Socrates’ brother, as well as representatives of France Football and leaders of the organization Sport and Peace have headquarters in Monaco.
“Socrates has always believed in the power of sport to mobilize and transform society so that it becomes more equal,” Rai said in a statement. “He has shown this as a player through his fight for democratization in Brazil.
“Eleven years after his death, he remains the symbol of a champion committed to a more just world.”
The Ballon d’Or awards ceremony will be held in Paris on October 17.
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