France Football have announced that there will be no winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for 2020 due to complications that football have faced due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
France Football explain that a lack of ‘sufficient fair conditions’ have resulted in this decision, this is the first time that the honour won’t be awarded since its inception in 1956.
There will be no individual awards at all, the best female player won’t be crowned, as well as the best defender and goalkeeper – which went to Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt and Liverpool’s Alisson last year.
It’s added that this decision has been taken to preserve the integrity and honour of the award, the Ballon d’Or is by far the most prestigious individual prize that a footballer can receive in the world.
France Football add that it would be impossible to deem a winner fairly, especially when some leagues have been cut short due to Covid-19.
Also, it’s added with changes to competitions like the Champions League, of which the remaining fixtures will be played in a single-match format and behind-closed-doors on neutral ground in Lisbon, makes it unrealistic to hand out the award given things have changed so much from the norm.
Here’s one particular quite from the announcement: “Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.”
Lionel Messi would have be a shoe-in to clinch the award for the 7th time in his career, the Barcelona superstar has been phenomenal this season with a staggering 30 goals and 26 assists.
Other high-profile superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Roberto Lewandowski would’ve firmly been in the running after sensational campaigns.