FIFA’s control of the Ballon d’Or will come to an end this year as France Football announced that it is ending its partnership with the world governing body.
The existing agreement in the coronation of the best footballer in the world is set to be abolished as the magazine prepares to take back control of the process beginning next year.
NO MORE PLAYER OR COACH VOTES
Players and coaches were allowed to join journalists in deciding nominations for the best players but France Football’s plans will see only representatives of the media charged with electing the game’s outstanding candidates.
Erstwhile FIFA president Sepp Blatter brokered a 15 million euros rights deal with Editions Philippe Amaury, publishers of France Football, in 2010 but the deal is not set to be renewed when it expires at the end of this year. As such, all branding of the FIFA Ballon d’Or will be removed from the current format.
MESSI, RONALDO DOMINANCE
Since FIFA’s sponsorship of the Ballon d’Or in 2010, only two players have shared bragging rights for the award: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Barcelona talisman has won four, although the first was under its old name, while Ronaldo scooped the other two.
Others have been shortlisted, including Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery and Manuel Neuer but none could break the duo’s stranglehold.
BALON D’OR SINCE 1956
The Ballon d’Or was founded in 1956 at the same time as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup – now the Champions League. It ran annually until 2010 when then FIFA president Joseph Blatter paid 15 million euros to Éditions Philippe Amaury for the rights to the trophy – the most prestigious individual award in world football.
With the arrival of Gianni Infantino to the FIFA presidency, relations between the two organizations cooled and eventually broke down definitively.
Now FIFA must decide whether they will revive the defunct FIFA World Player award, which was awarded between 1991 and 2009 through votes from national team coaches and captains from all of the association members with the annual gala usually held in early December rather than January, in Zurich.