Ballon d'Or 2020 cancelled for first-ever time amid COVID pandemic, Messi, Ronaldo miss out
Ballon d'Or will not be awarded this year due to lack of sufficient fair conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic, announced France Football on July 20, 2020.
France Football released an official statement, which read that the Ballon d'Or France Football will not be awarded in 2020 for the first time in its history due to lack of sufficient fair conditions under exceptional circumstances and exceptional provisions.
The prestigious football honour was established in 1956. Since then, without exception, the award has been conferred every year.
— France Football (@francefootball) July 20, 2020
2020 should be treated as ordinary year: Pascal Ferré/ Editor-in-chief of France Football
Pascal Ferré's statement read that Ballon d’Or will take a break in 2020 for the first time since 1956. There will be no 2020 edition because all the conditions were not met. It further stated that such a singular year cannot and should not be treated as an ordinary year.
Further, the statement read that from a sports perspective, the two months of January and February, out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies represent too little time to gauge and judge. It added saying that we cannot forget that the other games were played or will be played in unordinary conditions such as with five replacements and behind closed doors.
The award organiser felt that the equity that prevails for the honorary title will not be warranted, as all the award seekers will not be in the same boat with some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, there cannot be a fair comparison. Hence, the body chose the least bad option to avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections.
The decision was taken after discussion with all the Group stakeholders. France Football stated that the decision though not delightful seems to be the most responsible one, protecting the credibility and legitimacy of the award.
The statement concluded by saying that Ballon d’Or will gather again the football big family and enthusiasts in 2021, to relive the happiness that surrounds the ceremonies as experienced in recent years.
The Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on sports with many major sporting events postponed or cancelled. All competitions and matches across the world were suspended for over 2-3 months. Football leagues recently resumed their leagues matches behind closed doors with very strict health and safety guidelines to protect every individual from contracting the infection.
About the Ballon d’Or
Ballon d’Or was set up in 1956 by France Football redaction. The award has become one of the most prestigious individual football trophies in the world. Some of the winners of the honour include football greats such as Zinédine Zidane, George Weah, Johan Cruyff, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Since 2018, the award also honours best female football player.
Ballon d’Or has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since 2008 with either one of them winning the honour every year except for 2018 when it was won by Luka Modric. While Ronaldo has won the award for a total of five times, Messi has won it six times including in 2019.