By Victor Akuma
At the end of every football year, players who have made great impacts in their various leagues are often optimistic of one thing and that is the Ballon d’Or title, the crest of award for the most performed players in world football.
However, plans of marking this year’s celebration took a downturn on Monday 20 July, dashing the hopes of players like Messi, C.Ronaldo and of course, Lewandowski who seems to be football fans best option for the award considering the number of goals he has bagged for his German club side, Bayern Munchem in all competitions in the ongoing 2019-2020 season.
The football world stood still on Monday 20 July, 2020 upon the news of Ballon d’Or cancelation on account of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic which has dealt a heavy blow to the sports since the month of February, bringing to abrupt end of a number of football Leagues across the world, while other leagues however, have been forced to play their remaining games in a cluster of matches behind closed doors.
ESPN reported that organisers of the award, Group L’Equipe, reached the conclusion as conditions for the prize to take place had not been met, making it the first cancelation since its creation in 1956.
Editor-in-chief of France Football Pascal Ferre as reported by ESPN stated that “There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot and should not be treated as an ordinary one,”
Speaking further, the editor said “From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the 11 generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge; without forgetting that the other games were played or will be played in unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final eight played in a single game).”
He also stated that the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation as all the award seekers will not be in the same boat because some have seen their season cut short. Therefore, making it quite a task to establish a fair comparison. To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, the editor said the organisers had to choose the least bad of the options.”
However, some breathtaking arrangement has been made by the team of organisers to name an 11-man Dream Team at the end of the year and the team will be picked randomly across all European leagues by the Ballon d’Or jury.
Each of the 180 juries will choose 11 players and the players with the most votes will make the final team.
While some football fans have rejected this move by Ballon d’Or, others believe it’s the right thing to do. Crispng sampled their opinions.
According to Christian Onwuka, a Manchester United Fan, the cancelation of Ballon d’Or is only a manifestation of a politicized system.
“Well Ballon d’Or award for the past 5 years has been politicised and I would say that’s same reason they cancelled it. Because their favourite (Goats) someone is now ahead of them, which is Lewandowski. Messi hasn’t won any major trophy yet and their chances of making it to the UCL quarterfinal is 30/100 so they have checked it in all ramifications that it won’t be at their favour and all that and they cancelled it, using Corona as an excuse.” he said.
“They were not idle because they still completed their domestic leagues and UEFA and Europa will still hold, so there’s no reason at all to cancel Ballon d’Or if not for their political selfish reason. Messi and Ronaldo have really been average this season, and Lewandoski on the other hand deserves the award! Ballon d’Or organizers are wrong.” he concluded.
Ogbodo Somtochukwu, a Barcelona fan also thinks canceling the award wasn’t a good move but believes the preference of Lewandowski to other players like Messi and Ronaldo for the title was bogus since all three players were performing well individually.
“i was super surprised when I read the news about the cancellation of d prestigious award for the best football player of the year. This is what every player is working hard for and if it’s not there, what are they now playing for, fun?”
“Personally, it wasn’t a right decision, becuase as long as the players are playing, there is everything to fight for, the award should be given to the best at the end.”
“Now coming down to the players; I have seen a lot of social media outlets that claim it was a robbery on lewandowski who has had an incredible season so far , netting 34 league goals and 41 across all competitions, with the Champions league in view. One must say this seems to be his best season so far but it shouldn’t be the reason to just dash him the award.”
“Take a look at L.Messi’s stats, 25 goals and 21assists in one season, players can only dream about things like this. It’s was also an incredible season for him individually”
“Now look at Ronaldo, with how far he has gone, 30 goals in 30 games and with 4 games in hand. He even has a better chance of surpassing lewandowski in the race for the European Golden shoe and he is having a blissful season also, so as other players like KDB of Man city etc.”
“You can now see that the battle for the award was open and fierce and was everything to fight for before it’s cancellation”
“To me, the award is part of the game and also a great motivating factor to so many of these players and now it’s not there, it’s seems like there is little to fight for,” he concluded.
Recall Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the 2019 award while U.S. women’s national team and OL Reign captain Megan Rapinoe took home the Ballon d’Or Feminin.