France Football has decided not to award the 2020 Ballon d'Or due to the coronavirus. So Leo Messi and Megan Rapinoe will not be able to defend the trophy won last year.
The Golden Ball, the most prestigious individual prize in football, will not be awarded this year.
Nor will the prizes linked to the Golden Ball (ie the trophies awarded to the best goalkeeper and the best young man. In these two categories, Alisson and De Ligt be in charge).
This was announced in a note in the weekly 'France Football', which assigns it every year by vote.
“In exceptional circumstances, exceptional decision. For the first time in its history – which began in 1956 – in 2020 the France Football Golden Ball will not be awarded. There are not enough fair conditions, "reads the note.
The Argentine Lionel Messi and the American Megan Rapinoe, crowned in 2019, will therefore have no successors this year.
'France Football' reviews the different reasons why recognition cannot be awarded, including fairness.
For the weekly "the impartiality that prevails for this honorary title could not be preserved, especially in terms of statistics and also in the preparation since, all candidates for the prize could not be judged in the same way".
The pandemic has forced all the main football leagues to stop for several months, some have resumed behind closed doors, as in Germany, Spain, England or Italy, others have been permanently suspended.
“We did not want to put on the list of our champions an indelible asterisk 'trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the covid-19 health crisis'. We prefer – explains France Football magazine – a small distortion (to our history) rather than a large scar.
Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring that it is irreproachable over time. " (source AGI).
Source: Blitz Quotidiano