French publication France Football has parted ways with FIFA over the organisation of football’s prestigious award, the Ballon d’Or. “The end of the partnership between France Football and FIFA will lead to a new look of Ballon d’Or. Discover it next Tuesday in FF,” read a news release of the French publication.
The Ballon d’Or was first introduced in 1956, when the European Cup (now known as the Champions League) came into existence, to reward players based on their performances in the previous 12 months on votes exclusively from journalist in Europe. The FIFA World Player of the Year, on the other hand, was introduced in 1991 and awarded until 2009 with the winner decided by votes from national team coaches and captains from all of the association members. In 2010, the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year were fused for the FIFA Ballon d’Or to select the world’s best player of the year, based on votes from media, team coaches and captains. Barcelona star Lionel Messi won the award for record five times, while Cristiano Ronaldo went for three. The contract previously signed by the FIFA and France Football has expired with neither organisation interested in extending it, and the most prestigious individual award will go back to its initial format.