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Monday, 17 December, 2001, 15:48 GMT
Di Canio wins Fair Play award
Paolo di Canio
Di Canio: Act of sportsmanship against Everton
West Ham's Italian striker Paolo di Canio has been awarded the Fifa Fair Play award for his actions in a Premiership game last season.

The Italian opted to catch the ball rather than shoot when Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was on the ground injured last season.

Football's ruling body described the gesture as a "special act of good sportsmanship".

The incident happened at Goodison Park last December.

Everton's goal was empty as Gerrard lay injured outside his area, but Di Canio opted to catch the ball to stop play so that Gerrard could get treatment, instead of going for goal.

Paolo Di Canio receives his award in Zurich
Di Canio collects his gong
The award represents an astonishing turnaround for the player, who was banned when he was a Sheffield Wednesday player for pushing referee Paul Alcock to the floor in 1998.

In addition to Di Canio's award, teenage Ghanaian player Sumaila Abdallah received a Fifa Fair Play diploma for saving the life of an opponent with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Despite just missing out on next year's World Cup finals, Honduras were named as Fifa's World Team of the Year.

Honduras impressed in the Copa America where their victories included a shock 2-0 win over Brazil.

World champions France were presented with the diploma for finishing the year as the top team in the Fifa world rankings after dislodging Brazil from top spot in May.

And Costa Rica were named as Movers of the Year after qualifying for the World Cup finals and moving 30 places up the world rankings to end the year in 30th place.

All the awards were presented at a Fifa awards ceremony on 17 December in Zurich, Switzerland.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Chris Hollins
talks to Paulo di Canio about his Fifa Fair Play award
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