France Football have ascertained there will be no Ballon d’Or awarded in 2020 due to the “exceptional circumstances” the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the season.
It is the first year since 1956 that France Football will not hand out the prestigious individual award. Lionel Messi won last year to pick up his sixth Ballon d’Or overall, with Cristiano Ronaldo a five-time winner. Only Luka Modric broke this 12-year record when winning in 2018.
France’s Ligue 1 was the most high-profile division in Europe to cancel the remainder of its campaign due to coronavirus, with the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and La Liga all resuming after a three-month break.
This unevenness has brought about France Football putting on ice this year’s award, with editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre stating this cannot cannot– and should not – be treated as an ordinary one”.
“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 (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).
“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.