Australia became the penultimate winners of the Day 6 FIFPRO Fair Play Award.
Presented by FIFPRO’s Raymond Beaard, the daily award is issued to teams that showed outstanding sporting behaviour and/or embrace the spirit of the tournament.
The Australian team was described as an “all round sound team” that was celebrated for its constant support of the team’s opponents, as well as giving equal minutes to all the Australian players.
Team manager George Halkias said: “It’s a really proud moment for us as a team. It means a lot, because FIFPRO have a strong association with the Australian PFA, and ultimately it’s what we’re all about.
“We said from the outset that, although we’d try and win every game, fair play is ethos. This is an acknowledgement of that recognition, and it’ll be a huge boost to the players. Essentially our goals are to win these fair play awards, but we’re aware there are a lot of teams competing for them.
“We’re having a blast. The Welsh people are welcoming and we’ve met players from all over the world, so the opportunities for our players to learn about themselves and others to take back home are endless.
“With the blow-up kangaroos, it just seems to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. When people smile, it allows our players to relax so everyone wants one too.
“A lot of the players are already doing well, so hopefully this experience will allow them to set their aims and ambitions higher. They’ve all represented their country with distinction, so there’s no reason why they can’t go on to bigger and better things.
“It’s they who have done all the hard work and have shown determination and courage to get to where they are now.”
Words: David Brockett
Images: Paul Bence / Soda-Visual