The Ballon d’Or has been awarded to the best men’s player since 1956, but not this year.
The Ballon d’Or will not be awarded by France Football this year as the magazine said the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the soccer season on its head.
The men’s honor has been handed out every year since 1956, the women’s since 2018.
“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met,” France Football editor Pascal Ferre told Agence France-Presse.
Ferre added that it would not be right to judge players based on games played without spectators present.
“We believe that such a singular year cannot… be treated as an ordinary year,” said. “Two months [January and February], out of the eleven 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 unusual conditions.”
He was referring to the Champions League knockout round that will be played behind closed doors with five substitutions a match.
“This decision, which was taken of course with all the group stakeholders, does not delight us but it seems to be the most responsible one,” Ferre said. “Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.”
Lionel Messi has earned the honor a record six times — one more than longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo.