Anja Zivkovic is the “German Football Ambassador 2020” (main category). The internationally active football coach, instructor and analyst prevailed in the final against Uwe Rösler and Robert Jaspert by jury decision. The Award was presented by the non-profit organisation of the same name, “Deutscher Fußball Botschafter e.V.”. Due to the corona pandemic, the award could not be handed over at a gala for the first time. Just like the winners of the other categories, Robin Gosens (Public Award) as well as Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka (Honorary Award), Anja Zivkovic was sent her award and expressed her gratitude via video message:
Roland Bischof, founder of the Association of the German Football Ambassador, says: “Normally, our grand award ceremony takes place annually at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. However, in these times everything is different and so, unfortunately, the winners could only now receive their awards – and without an audience. Of course, everyone is invited as guests of honour for the 2021 gala.”
Also nominated: Robert Jaspert and Uwe Rösler.
In addition to Anja Zivkovic (“I am stunned – a very great honour”), the nominees for the main award 2020 were coach Robert Jaspert, who works for Safa Beirut SC in Lebanon, and Uwe Rösler, currently coach of Fortuna Düsseldorf, who was extremely popular during his coaching stations in England, Norway and Sweden. All three candidates were selected for their outstanding work abroad, where they made a particular contribution to sporting and social development in their countries of activity and thus contributed to the positive image of Germany in the world.
Anja Zivkovic: Project based active in more than 50 countries.
This year, the top-class jury of experts chaired by kicker publisher Rainer Holzschuh chose Anja Zivkovic (DFB, FIFA, and UEFA – instructor, coach & analyst), who, like Monika Staab (German Football Ambassador 2014), travels the world for women’s football on a project basis. She has already visited more than 50 countries, including India, Jordan, Tonga, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Palestine, and others. With her prize money she wants to support a special “girls’ football project” in the Indian region of Haryana. Anja Zivkovic: “Girls have a particularly hard time in this region. But this project specifically supports girls’ football and even organises girls’ football tournaments with modest funds – without the help of a social organisation, but exclusively with the help of the villagers”. A joint visit of the project is now planned for 2021 by Anja Zivkovic and Roland Bischof, the President of the German Football Ambassador, to draw attention to the commitment, honour it and hand over the prize money on site.
The other two nominees also donate their prize money to charitable projects: Robert Jaspert to the Lebanese association Mabarrat-Waisenkinderprojekt e.V., which he visited again a few weeks ago, and Uwe Rösler to a social institution in Manchester to give something back to his “second home”.
Strong signal for women’s football.
Winning the award also sends a strong signal for women’s football, to which the non-profit organisation is clearly committed. Monika Staab received further international attention for her commitment in the aftermath of winning the 2014 award and even spoke at the UN. Last year, Petra Landers already won the hearts of the audience, but Jürgen Klopp as the world coach could not be outdone. Now the time has come again and with Anja Zivkovic a woman wins and with her also women’s football.
(Deutscher Fußball Botschafter e.V.)