A year mired by the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no Ballon d’Or award in 2020, announced the organizers of France Football on Monday. It will be for the first time that the highly coveted award will not be given to the men’s best footballer of the year since its inaugural year in 1956, which was won by Englishman Stanley Matthews. Last year it was won by Lionel Messi.
“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met,” said the editor of the magazine Pascal Ferre.
France Football felt that it would be unfair to choose the world’s best player when few leagues— including the French Ligue 1, have been cancelled in the seasons early. Moreover, it would not be a proper judgment when there are no spectators in the stadium as necessitated by the COVID-19 situation.
Messi won it last year for a record sixth time. The women’s Ballon d’Or award instituted for the first time in 2018, has also been canceled. Apart, the Kepa Trophy, given to the best young player, and the Yashin award for best goalkeeper have also been scrapped.
According to Ferre, “This decision, which was taken of course with all the group stakeholders, does not delight us but it seems to be the most responsible one.”
France Football also added that it was looking forward to holding a ceremony in 2021, and this year it would instead organize a vote for the all-time greatest men’s XI.
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