The organisers of the prestigious football award Ballon D’or, France Football, has come up with an updated set of rules for its lavish award ceremony.
France Football has announced that the 2022 edition of the award ceremony will take place in October. This is distinct from the usual November/December time period when they hold the ceremony.
What Caused It?
The decision came after the award had to face a lot of heat when Lionel Messi was awarded the title for a record-extending seventh time ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who according to many were slightly more deserving than him.
Robert Lewandowski, who had won the Champions League with Bayern the previous season, was also denied the Ballon D’or as it was canceled due to Covid. Many fans were expecting him to win in 2021 but were left baffled to see Messi lift it again. He was only given the Best Striker Award that year.
This sparked some controversy when fans across the world blamed the federation for bias.
France Football’s Editor-In-Chief Pascal Ferre claimed that they had brought about four changes.
- Change in judging from years to seasons: Decisions will now be based on performances between the traditional season of August and July, instead of the regular calendar years, which consisted of two half-campaigns. Hence, the award will be presented in accordance with the season ending of European tournaments.
- Change in who puts together the shortlists: Ballon d’Or ambassador and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba and the journalists who came closer to getting the last year’s results right will be involved in choosing the shortlisted candidates, which runs to 30 for the main award and 20 for the young player and goalkeeper trophy.
- Change in who can vote: Last year, more than 170 countries had cast their vote for selecting their best player. Henceforth, only the Top 100 FIFA Ranking countries can cast vote for the Men’s football award and Top 50 for the Women’s football award can vote.
- Focusing on individual performance: Voters will be instructed to focus on the players’ individual performances over collective achievements with a team with fair play and no bias.
France Football has confirmed that the Ballon D’or will now be awarded in October 2022. This year, where we find FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, most fans will be eager to see how the players are marked for their performances.
Another issue which sparked up some controversy, was Gianluigi Donnarumma winning the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper. It was believed that Eduard Mendy, who had shown exceptional performances for Chelsea, winning them the Champions League with the most clean sheets was disapproved of it.
Since they have altered the rules now, players like Jorginho who ramped up a solid 3rd place for winning the Euros and Champions League, would be judged strictly on their performance.
Didier Drogba joining the committee is also a major boost as he has tremendous experience of the game. It is believed that his recommendation in picking the nominees would be unjust and truly accurate.
Drogba has been a major figure in France and most of African countries. Drogba will also be joined by Truong Anh Ngoc and Czech juror Karolina Hlavackova to compile a more structured list of nominees.