The prestigious Golden Ball, awarded by the magazine <em>France Football</em> will not be awarded this year because of the pandemic of COVID-19.
20 July 2020 18: 14
COVID-19: the Golden Ball will not be awarded this year
The prestigious Ballon d’or will not be awarded this year, as the pandemic of sars coronavirus has disrupted the soccer season.
Awarded by the magazine France Football, the Ballon d’or is awarded each year since Stanley Matthews won the first in 1956. Lionel Messi has won it six times, a record – one more than his rival of long date Cristiano Ronaldo.
The magazine began to award a prize women in 2018, but this has also been postponed.
“It is a year that is so strange that we could not treat it as an ordinary year. Let’s say that we have started to talk about [the decision] there are at least two months, explained to theAssociated Press, Pascal Ferré, editor-in-chief of France Football.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we had to accept the fact that this could not be a winner normal or typical of the Ballon d’or, and which has us really worried is that it would not be fairly awarded.”
Because the rules of the game have been modified during the pandemic, the award itself has been affected.
“The season has started with some rules and ended with other rules. In January and February, the soccer is being played in front of bleachers full. Then, from may to June, it was in stadiums empty, said Ferré. Then, we had the rule of five replacements, and not three. Later on, other changes occurred at the level of the competitions, including the last eight teams in the running with a formula with direct elimination for the champions League when it had started with the matches go back and forth.”
With the European Championship and the Copa America deferred this year, the champions League would have weighed heavily on the result of this honor, but with a format providing inadvertently a shortcut for a possible winner.
“The Golden Ball would have been decided in only three games: quarter-final, semi-final, final,” noted Ferré. There has been a lot of changes [in the game] that are completely legitimate and that we do not dispute given the global health crisis, but we could not consider this as a typical year. Exceptional circumstances have led to an exceptional decision.”
In the absence of the award of the Golden Ball, the trophy of the FIFA will be the only individual honours in the soccer world this year.
FIFA plans to hold a poll in several categories, but it is still unclear as to how and or trophies will be awarded.