France Football have announced that the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
For the first time since 1956, France Football will not hand out the prestigious award for the best player in the world, with reasons being the “lack of sufficient fair conditions” due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Ballon d’Or Cancelled By France Football
COVID-19 Behind the Reasoning
In a statement on their official website, France Football said: “For the first time in its history, which began in 1956, the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020, due to the lack of sufficient fair conditions.
“The winners of the last edition will have no successors at the end of the year. Because there will be no Ballon d’Or 2020 edition.
“Why? Because 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.
“Because the Ballon d’Or trophy conveys other values – like exemplarity, solidarity and responsibility – rather than merely sporting excellence alone.” per Goal.
A Fair Decision?
This decision has been received with mixed feelings. While some see it as a fair decision, others see it as a rash and unnecessary one.
The Coronavirus pandemic might have put a halt to footballing activities for a while, however, this doesn’t make the effort by the players any less credible.
Not forgetting the pandemic put everyone in the same circumstances. This raises serious questions about the decision based on fairness.
This doesn’t look fair towards players like Robert Lewandowski, who had been tipped to win the award after his outstanding season. Some might even feel robbed.
On the part of France Football, they are trying to protect the credibility and legitimacy of the prestigious award.
They said: “We did not want to put an indelible asterisk on the prize list like “trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 health crisis”. We will always prefer a small sprain to our history to a large scar.
“This is the first time since 1956 that the Ballon d’Or has taken a break. The situation does not enchant us but seems to us the most responsible and logical decision. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means protecting it over time.
“The Ballon d’Or story is too precious to take the risk of damaging it with a wobbly exercise. In these turbulent times, taking a break is a luxury and an invaluable necessity. So that football, as a whole, regains momentum, passion and emotion.”
This means Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will keep hold of the Ballon d’Or award for another 12 months.
All eye now turn to FIFA’s ‘The Best’ award, being the highest individual award attainable this year.