The Ballon d’Or has been cancelled for the first time in its history due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the football calendar. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 2019 while Lyon’s Megan Rapinoe took home the women’s award. The organizers said that the conditions of the prize to be met didn’t take place.
“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,” editor-in-chief of France Football Pascal Ferre said in a statement. From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the 11 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 eight 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.”
Instead of awarding 4 individual trophies, a set of panellists will select an 11 player Dream Team. Each of the 180 panellists will vote for 11 players and the players with the most number of votes will make the Dream Team.