Being able to say no

Appeal by Simone Farina

Simone Farina is a former Italian professional footballer, who rejected an offer, during his time as an active player, to manipulate a game of his team and to get for 200,000 euros for doing so - more than double his former annual salary as a player. Instead, he reported it. Simone Farina is now FIFA Ambassador for Fair Play.

"The message I would like to pass on to you and all young people is this: Stick to the rules." That means: stay strong, don't listen to false friends, don't even entertain the thought about whether you should deviate from the straight and narrow path.

Sports in general and football in particular are governed by rules. You learn a lot from them, both on and off the pitch: Fair play, integrity, loyalty, fairness, trusting others, being able to win... and lose and working hard to achieve a goal. You learn a lot for life.

It is simply not worth throwing away all these wonderful experiences and values. I did not hesitate nor consider for even one second. I know that not all careers are uncomplicated and crowned by success. Life presents us with many challenges along the way.

But he who loves football, the honest, clean game, the game that children learn, should also defend its values. I am convinced of this, not only as a professional but as a human being."