Updated: July 21, 2020 2:38:50 pm
The prestigious Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year for the first time since its inauguration in 1956 because of the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted the football season throughout the world.
With the pandemic bringing a stop to sports, the 2019-20 football season was ravaged, with all the major European leagues suspending matches from March to June. Not treating this as an ordinary season, the editor-in-chief of France Football said in a statement, “There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot -and should not- be treated as an ordinary one.”
The prestigious Ballon d’Or, voted for by journalists and organised by French magazine France Football, is an annual prize awarded to the best male footballer in the world since 1956. The women’s Ballon d’Or was, however, first awarded in 2018.
“From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge ; without forgetting that the other games were played – or will be played – in unordinary conditions.”
Even though football resumed after a three month gap, there were conditions applied. The matches took place behind closed doors, with five replacements. Champions League’s final eight will be played as a single leg.
“Finally, the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation : all the award seekers will not be in the same boat, some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison? To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options,” the statement further said.
“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. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time. The Ballon d’Or will gather again the football big family and enthusiasts in 2021, to relive the happiness that surrounds the ceremonies as we have experienced them in recent years.”
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