The Player Impact Award is for a player who seeks to create impact in the lives of others.
What he did:
With an unprecedented campaign, Marcus Rashford ensured that disadvantaged children throughout the United Kingdom would continue to receive free school meals while schools were shut down.
The England and Manchester United forward almost single-handedly forced his country’s Prime Minister and government to reverse a policy and fund more than USD 550 million towards supporting the cost of food and household bills of struggling families from low socio-economic backgrounds.
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). The committee said it was impressed with the achievements of all eight nominees for the Merit Awards.
What the jury said:
Marcus started a regional campaign, which in the end became a national program for under-privileged citizens. He impressed people by tackling a national scandal, that one of the wealthiest countries in the world was unable to feed its children properly. The committee also noticed Marcus’ modest disposition, even though his accomplishments are huge.
Note: Marcus also deserves praise for his efforts in highlighting equality and anti-discrimination through the Black Lives Matter campaign, as well as for his contribution to the Players Together initiative, which raised millions for the National Health Service.