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18/12/2020 - 13:12

2020 Peace and Sport Awards: Football Prodigy Lionel Messi Becomes the Champion for Peace of the Year!

The 2020 edition of the Peace and Sport Awards appointed the Argentinian soccer prodigy and captain of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi, as Champion for Peace of the Year.

The Champion for Peace of the Year Award rewards an athlete who has led a significant and sustainable sports initiative towards peace, justice and social inclusion. Recognized and praised for his fair play on the football field, Lionel Messi has also distinguished himself off the field for his social commitment. Through his Foundation, Leo Messi promotes education and social inclusion for disadvantaged children from around the world, particularly in Spain, Argentina, Mozambique, Palestine, Kenya, Syria and Nepal.

As the 2020 Champion for Peace of the Year, Lionel Messi joins the Champions for Peace Club, made up of high-level athletes, including previous winners of the Champion for Peace of the Year Award, Blaise Matuidi and Siya Kolisi.

Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, said:

On behalf of Peace and Sport, I would like to warmly congratulate Lionel Messi on becoming the Champion for Peace 2020! It is a great honour to welcome Lionel Messi into our Champions for Peace club. This award rewards not only his fair play, respect and tolerance on the football pitch but also his commitment to children’s rights. These are values that make him a role model and can pave the way for a fairer and more inclusive society.” 

Lionel Messi, football legend and captain of FC Barcelona, commented:

« It is an honour to receive the “Champion for Peace of the Year” Award. Respect towards the others is something I have learnt when I was a kid, and I always try to apply this important value on the football pitch. It’s a pleasure to be recognised for being a fair player. I thank Peace and Sport and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco for this Award and I look forward to continuing inspiring and supporting disadvantaged people. »

During the entirely online celebration of the 2020 Peace and Sport Awards several winners were rewarded for outstanding initiatives:

  • The NGO ISF Cambodia received the Sport for Development and Peace Program of the Year Award for its project, Football for Change;
  • The NGO TIBU Maroc won the prize for Innovative Action of the Year for its “Sa7ti Friyadti” project of empowerment through sport;
  • The Kosovo National Olympic Committee obtained the most votes in the APRIL6 Initiative of the Year category for organizing a creative #WhiteCard contest;
  • And the Olympic Channel was rewarded with the Special Jury Prize for its online campaign, The Olympic Day Workout.

In organizing this event, Peace and Sport was eager to reward individuals and organizations that have continued to use sport to serve communities despite the health situation and to promote peace through best practices in sport.

Peace and Sport would like to extend its special thanks to all its partners, the Champions for Peace who participated in this edition, the members of the Jury, the winners and the nominees for the Peace and Sport Awards 2020.

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