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Special recognition for Aidana Otorbaeva: she is a FIFPRO Hero

18 February 2021
Aidana Otorbaeva narrowly missed out on winning a FIFPRO Merit Award, but the Selection Committee decided to honour her with a special recognition: she is a FIFPRO Hero.

FIFPRO Hero is a player who did something so special that FIFPRO had to acknowledge it.

What she did:

Aidana Otorbaeva, literally put her life on the line to help other people. The national team and former Madrid player noticed the difficulties hospitals in her country experienced in dealing with Covid-19. She had no medical training, but wanted to help and turned to social media: “I am ready to volunteer. To help medical staff, run errands, or carry food. To make their job easier.”

She worked in the frontline for hours during many weeks, risking her own health and staying in a hotel to prevent transmitting the virus at home.

Her example was followed by many others and she created her own movement named Soobsha (Together) that involved 500 people. Other citizens also volunteered. A medical expert stated all volunteers saved thousands of lives.

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The winners of the FIFPRO Merit Awards were picked by a selection committee, consisting of former Merit Award winner Haley Carter, Global Player Council member Gabriella Garton, and union representatives from all FIFPRO Divisions (Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe). 

What the jury said:

Aidana not only became a role model for girls who want to be a football player, but also a perfect example of how you can help many others, and inspire through your own example and motivation. Taking into account the pandemic that has affected almost all human life on the planet in the past fourteen months, the Selection Committee is of the opinion that Aidana Otorbaeva deserves special recognition for these heroic efforts.

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