Year 2020 Ballon d’Or has been cancelled due to the negative impact of the coronavirus on football and indeed, all sectors.
Media organisation France Football who present the awards to the best footballers yearly made the surprise announcement.
This announcement will come as a rude shock to those players who are in favour of winning the yearly highly coveted football award.
Especially, 31-year-old Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who the odds of winning the award would have favoured more.
Lewandoski has scored an extraordinary 51 goals in just 49 games for Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich in all competitions.
This also means that this is the first time that there will be no winner since the prize was inaugurated in 1956.
Lionel Messi won for a record sixth time in 2019 although his duopoly with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, with 11 of the last 12 victories between them – with Lucas Modric breaking their record of a ten-year run.
France Football magazine founded the award 64 years ago.
Editor in chief of France Football magazine, Pascal Farre, has confirmed the worldwide impact of the Covid-19 pressure has forced the shocking decision.
Farre said: “There will be no edition in 2020 because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all of the conditions are not met.
“We believe that such a singular year cannot – and should not – be treated as an ordinary one.”
The decisions by the French government and Ligue 1 chiefs to end the season in March appears to have been the prime driver for a decision that means Liverpool stars Virgil Van Dijk and Mo Salah miss out on the chance to lift the trophy.
Farre insisted the decision was “responsible” and served to protect the “credibility and legitimacy” of the award.
He added: “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 guage and judge.
“The other games were played – or will be played – in unordinary conditions, behind closed doors, with five replacements, the Champions League Final Eight played as single games.
“Finally, all the award seekers will not be in the same boat and some have seen the season cut short.
“Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison?
“To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options,” he added.