France Football on Monday announced that the prestigious prize Ballon d’Or winner will not be handed out this season due to the “lack of sufficient fair conditions.”
The prize which has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent time will not be awarded for this calendar year.
A prestigious Golden Ball has been handed out to the best player on the planet since 1956.
France Football said in a statement on their official website: “In exceptional circumstances, exceptional provisions. For the first time in its history, which began in 1956, the Ballon d'Or France Football will not be awarded in 2020, due to the lack of sufficient fair conditions.
“Messi and Rapinoe (as well as [Mattijs] de Ligt and Alisson, winners of the Kopa and Yachine Trophies) will have to wait a year. The winners of the last edition of the BO 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.
“• Because the fairness that prevails for this honorary title could not be preserved, in particular at the statistical level and also in the preparation since all the aspirants to the award could not be housed in the same boat, some having seen their season cut radically short, others not. So how can we compare the incomparable?
“• Because 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 ensuring its flawlessness over time."
That means Messi, who lifted the award in 2019 for record sixth time, will keep his crown for another 12 months.
Closest to Barcelona star’s record is his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, who has won it five time in his career.
Two all-time greats would have been expected to come into contention again in 2020, along with the likes of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.