Ballon d’Or 2020 Cancelled Over Covid-19

The Ballon d'Or will not be awarded this year for the first time since it was launched in 1956 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon d'Or last year, taking him past rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five of the gongs to his name.

Pascal Farre, editor in chief of France Football magazine confirmed that the worldwide impact of the Covid-19 crisis has forced the surprise decision.

Farre said: “There will be no edition in 2020 because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all of the conditions are not met.

“We believe that such a singular year cannot – and should not – be treated as an ordinary one.”

The decisions by the French government and Ligue 1 chiefs to end the season in March appears to have been the prime driver for a decision that means Liverpool stars Virgil Van Dijk and Mo Salah miss out on the chance to lift the trophy.

Farre insisted the decision was “responsible” and served to protect the “credibility and legitimacy” of the award.

He added: “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 guage and judge.

“The other games were played – or will be played – in unordinary conditions, behind closed doors, with five replacements, the Champions League Final Eight played as single games.

“Finally, all the award seekers will not be in the same boat and some have seen the season cut short.

“Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison?

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“To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago

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