Werder Bremen midfielder Aaron Hunt will be given the Fair Play Medal from the German Olympic Society after his act of sportsmanship earlier this season when he admitted he had dived in the penalty area.
The Germany international will be presented with the honour this Saturday before the game against Hertha Berlin in front of a crowd of 42,100 at the Weserstadion.
It was in the game against FC Nürnberg at the beginning of March that Hunt called out to the referee after he had tripped on the turf on the way into the box. Referee, Manuel Graefe, was initially going to give the penalty kick however, Hunt persuaded him to overturn the decision.
Taking into consideration the importance of the game, Hunt’s act of honesty is truly deserved.
Going into the match, the teams were separated by just two points and they were both hovering over the relegation zone.
After the game, Hunt recapped and told the German media: “Out of instinct, I wanted to provoke the penalty, but that was wrong.
“I struggled with myself a bit (to say something), but we don't want to win any games like that, even if we are in a relegation battle.”
His honesty earned him a round of applause from the Nürnberg crowd and was credited by their left back, Javier Pinola, who was close to the 27 year old when he ran in on goal. “I take my hat off to him,” the Argentinian replied.
This is Hunt’s final season with Bremen and now that they are no longer in fear of relegation, he will be able to soak up what will be a buoyant atmosphere as he receives his award.
Hunt has been at the club for ten years but is set to leave at the end of the season after rejecting to extend his contract in March. It is unknown where Hunt will be playing next year but he has a strong reputation in the Bundesliga having started 224 times for the Green-Whites.
Bremen Coach, Robin Dutt, told German media today: “It's going to be a very emotional occasion for Aaron, I've got to know him as a sensitive person.”
The German, who also has an English mother, earned a lot of respect after he owned up for his fall, a call that came on the 75th minute and a rewarded penalty could have killed off the game. It’s hoped that after he receives the Fair Play Medal this weekend that other players around Europe will take note.
There have been several incidents in other leagues, such as the Premier League, where players have imitated being fouled. Luis Suarez is one player who is frequently mentioned in this debate. As the pressure grows on teams to get the desired result, players can’t resist the chance to provoke a foul and get a decision that will give them a goal scoring chance.
At the end of the day, that could be the chance that brings them the title or saves them from the drop but Hunt’s refusal will always be admirable.
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