Ballon d’Or: Football France announces rule changes

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(FILES) A combination of two file pictures shows Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) posing with the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or award on January 13, 2014 and Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi posing with the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or award on January 7, 2013, during FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremonies at the Kongresshaus in Zurich. Since joining Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo has fought a fierce battle with his rival Lionel Messi at Barcelona with each competing for trophies, records and statistics in a competition that fuels the even bigger rivalry between the two clubs AFP PHOTO/ FABRICE COFFRINI

Football France has announced new rules for the Ballon d’Or after the publication resumed sole charge of the coveted football award.

On Friday, FIFA ended its six-year association with Football France over the FIFA Ballon d’Or, an award that celebrated the best footballer in the world annually and combined the original honour – established in 1956 – and the World Player of the Year given by global football’s governing body from 1991 to 2009.

FIFA is yet to announce its next move, which could amount to a reprisal of its own award, while the Ballon d’Or will once again be voted for exclusively by a select group of international journalists.

This means the element of international team coaches and captains contributing to the vote, which was introduced for the merger with FIFA’s prize, will be shelved.

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A shortlist of 30 players will now be presented for voting, an increase on 23 from previous editions, and there will no longer be an announcement of three finalists ahead of the award being presented.

The winner and complete rankings of the shortlist will be revealed before the end of the calendar year. The FIFA Ballon d’Or held its awards gala in January of the following year.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the FIFA Ballon d’Or and its precursor over the past eight years, with five and three victories respectively.

Brazilian midfielder Kaka was the last man outside of the superstar forwards to claim the prize in 2007 when he lifted the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year.

 

culled:Pulse Sports Agency International By Omni Sport