The BBC have announced that they will create a new award in women’s football to be voted for by fans.
IN a statement, the BBC said ‘fans are being given the chance to vote for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year – the first award of its kind hosted by a global broadcaster.
‘A panel of experts – including administrators, journalists, coaches and former players – have come together to determine a five-woman shortlist.
‘The contenders will be announced on 26 April, with the winner revealed in May.’
It is an interesting move, to create a popularity contest award for women’s football.
For reference there are currently two main awards available for the English players – The UEFA Best Women’s players award created in 2013 and the FIFA Women World Player of the Year award created in 2001.
The UEFA award went to Nadine Angerer of Germany win for the 2012/13 season, after Germany won the Euros 2013 while her teammate, Nadine Kessler, has won the 2013/14 edition thanks to her exceptional club season.
The FIFA award has seen Marta (Brazil) crowned five times, Birgit Prinz (Germany) three times, Mia Hamm (USA) twice, Abby Wambach (USA) once, Homare Sawa (Japan) once, and Nadine Angerer (Germany) once as well.
Last year’s deserved winner was Nadine Kessler who is currently playing her club football with treble-winners Wolfsburg.
It will be interesting to see who will be named on the five players shortlist considering that there is always a lot of controversy about the FIFA player of the year award with top players being overlooked.
For example for the 2014 award Kim Little of the Seattle Reign and Scotland or Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Holiday of FC Kansas City and USA, and Aya Miyama of Okayama unego belle and Japan.
In the menatime, players who had not performed made the top three for many years in a row like Marta or Abby Wambach last year.
The timing is really strange as well considering the World Cup will be played in June-July, the leagues’ playing in the summer seasons like the FA WSL which are just starting now while the League playing in the traditional winter season (September to June) have not delivered their verdict.
The popular vote also is a problem as some players might end up as winners while they did not deserve it on pitch but simply because they are well liked by fans.
Let’s see when the BBC disclose their shortlist, but we should expect players from the top five FIFA World rankings, i.e. Germany, USA, France, Japan and Sweden.
England are currently sixth in the FIFA rankings but at club and country level, there has been no special quality performances from any English players that should be classified as world class.