France Football have announced that the Ballon d’Or has been scrapped for 2020 amid the ‘unordinary conditions’ brought on amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The most prestigious individual accolade in football is presented to the player deemed the world’s finest at the end of each calendar year, though there will be no recipient for 2020 in a bid to maintain the ‘credibility and legitimacy’ of the accolade.
Football’s return behind-closed-doors, alongside the unprecedented curtailment and reformatting of several competitions, has led to the decision not to award the golden ball for the first time in 64 years.
“For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or will take a break,” Pascal Ferre, editor of France Football told L’Equipe. 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.
With the Ballon d'Or cancelled, which player has missed out? ? pic.twitter.com/N2zTVLU2lc
— Goal (@goal) July 20, 2020
“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.
“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”