Three European football figures have been honoured with UEFA’s Order of Merit to mark the 42nd Ordinary UEFA Congress in Bratislava on Monday, February 26.
Allan Hansen (Denmark) and François De Keersmaecker (Belgium) – both former presidents of their country’s national football association – received the Order of Merit in Diamond. The Order of Merit in Ruby was bestowed upon Aurélio Pereira (Portugal).
Allan Hansen was an outstanding president of the Danish Football Association (DBU) from 2002 to 2014, and a UEFA Executive Committee member from 2009 to 2017. He was chairman of the UEFA HatTrick Committee which oversees UEFA’s crucial sporting and infrastructure assistance to Europe’s national football associations.
François De Keersmaecker has dedicated his life to football development and growth in his native Belgium, and was president of the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA/KBVB) for ten years.
Aurélio Pereira has been a player, coach and excellent scout of footballers – discovering future Portuguese stars such as Luís Figo, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo and a number of members of the Portugal team that won the UEFA EURO 2016 title.