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(((JUST IN))) No Ballon d’Or for 2020 after France Football cancel award due to Covid-19

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France Football has reported that no Ballon d’Or will be awarded in 2020 because of the season’s “exceptional circumstances” that the Covid-19 pandemic had.

This is the first year since 1956 that the coveted individual award will not be given out to France Football. Lionel Messi won last year to pick up his sixth overall Ballon d’Or, with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo. When winning in 2018, only Luka Modric broke the 12-year duopoly.

France’s Ligue 1 became Europe’s most influential division to cancel the remainder of its coronavirus programme, with the Premier League, Series A and La Liga all resuming following a three-month break.

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This disparity caused France Football to postpone the award this year, with editor-in – chief Pascal Ferre saying that “this can not and should not be regarded as an ordinary prize.”

“From a sporting viewpoint, two months (January and February), out of the eleven usually needed to shape an opinion and determine who will win the trophies, reflect much too little to gage and judge; without forgetting that the other games were played – or will be played – in extraordinary circumstances (behind closed doors, with five substitutes, the Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).

“Ultimately, the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be justified, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation: not all the winners will be in the same boat, some of whom have had their season cut short. Why, then, do we make a rational comparison? We chose the least poor of the choices to avoid unnecessarily complex estimates and predictions.

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“This decision, taken with all the stakeholders of the Group of course, does not please us but it seems to be the most responsible one. Protecting the prestige and integrity of such an award often requires ensuring its impeccability over time.

“The Ballon d’Or will reunite the large family and fans of football again in 2021, to relive the joy that accompanies the ceremonies as we have seen them in recent years.”

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