Women's Footballer of the Year: BBC announces new award

BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award

Fans are being given the chance to vote for the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year - the first award of its kind hosted by a global broadcaster.

The award will celebrate the top female footballers currently competing in one of the world's fastest-growing sports.

A panel of experts - including administrators, journalists, coaches and former players - have come together to determine a five-woman shortlist.

The contenders will be announced on 26 April, with the winner revealed in May.

"This award is a great opportunity to highlight the incredible skill level and depth of talent that exists in women's football globally," said Caroline Rigby, managing editor of the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year.

"It will demonstrate how far the game has come in recent years and will enable fans to introduce new fans to the best players in the world."

The BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award was announced during this month's edition of Canada Calling on Sportsworld.

Broadcasting live on BBC World Service radio each month, Canada Calling features women's football news and views from across the globe in the build-up to the 2015 Fifa Women's World Cup in Canada.

Every game from the tournament will be broadcast by the BBC, across television, radio and online.

There are also a total of 16 commentaries during this season's Women's Super League, which kicked off this month, on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.