Ljubljana – UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin was declared the newspaper Delo’s Person of the Year for 2021 on Thursday for “suppressing in a swift action the plan of the richest clubs to establish a super-league and thus destroy the European model of sport”.
“He united and inspired Europe and its most visible politicians, while his fight for common people was supported by all institutions in Brussels. His work is also visible outside football,” Delo said.
Čeferin received the award from Delo director Stojan Petrič and editor-in-chief Bojan Budja, who said that Čeferin had throughout remained an active citizens of Slovenia.
He did not help Slovenia only in terms of sport or face masks during the worst crisis, but as a prominent lawyer, he clearly took the side of the rule of law and respectful public communication, said Budja.
“Čeferin resolutely resisted everything that divides our and his country, while noting that such challenges can only be addressed at home in Slovenia, not in Brussels.”
Čeferin was selected from ten nominees, also former STA editor-in-chief Barbara Štrukelj, microbiologist Alojz Ihan, biochemist Roman Jerala, doctor Matjaž Jereb, March 8 Institute NGO head Nika Kovač, film auteur Ema Kugler, UKC Ljubljana chief nurse Zdenka Mrak, two-tine Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar and haematologist Samo Zver.
The winner of the 32nd Person of the Year was selected by Delo’s editorial staff, who also took into account its readers’ votes.
The Person of the Year 2020 was the country’s chief epidemiologist Mario Fafangel from the National Institute of Public Health.