The Ballon D’or for the first time since its inception in 1956 will not be held this year due to the disruption of the 2019-20 season by Coronavirus outbreak.
The decision somehow seem bizarre given that all of Europe’s major football leagues except the French Ligue have been able to complete their season.
Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon D’or last year making him surpass his rival Cristiano Ronaldo who has five to his name.
The cancellation of the prestigious award this year leaves Cristiano Ronaldo one Ballon D’or short behind Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
For the past 64 years, since Sir Stanley Matthews won the Ballon D’or for the first time, the prestigious award ceremony held by the French football magazine has been given out every since then.
The world best player award has been suspended this year due to what has been described by French football as ‘lack of sufficient fair conditions.’
A statement on the magazine’s website on Monday read: ‘Such a singular year cannot – and should not – be treated as an ordinary year. When in doubt, it is better to abstain than to persist.’
‘The fairness that prevails for this honorary title could not be preserved, in particular at the statistical level and also in the preparation since all the aspirants to the award could not be housed in the same boat, some having seen their season cut radically, others not. How can we compare the incomparable?’
The French Ligue is the only division among Europe’s top five leagues to cancel their season due to Coronavirus outbreak. All the other four [Bundesliga, La Liga, Italia Serie A and the Premier League] have or will complete the season behind closed doors.
‘Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time,’ the magazine’s statement continued.
‘In these turbulent times, taking a break is a luxury and an invaluable necessity.’
The women’s Ballon d’Or award, Kopa Trophy for the best Under 21 player, and Yashin award for best goalkeeper have also been cancelled.
The France Football Dream Team has been created to fill the void where a star-studded line-up from a shortlist of five players in each position will be announced in the autumn.