|New Ballon d’Or format confirmed|
Football’s most prestigious individual award, the Ballon d’Or has regained a new format prior to the next award presentation.
France Football, the organisation in charge of the Ballon d’Or have parted ways with FIFA, bringing an end to the FIFA Ballon d’Or awarded in January for the last six years. France Football announced on their official website that the award will be entering a new era and made some significant changes to the format of which one was the increase in the number of players in the shortlist from 23 to 30 and the scrapping of the three finalists.
“Following a six-year relationship (with FIFA) in which national team captains, coaches and journalists voted for the winner, the rules will be modified a little for 2016. The winner of the award will be elected, as before, by a jury of journalists from all parts of the world,” a statement in France Football’s official website read. The three major changes to the format of the award goes thus:
1. Votes will be cast from a definitive list of 30 candidates as opposed to the list of 23 which featured in previous editions. This means that the era of which 23 players were shortlisted for the award has come to an end and 30 players will make the list from the next award.
2. The intermediate step in which the three finalists for the award are announced has been eliminated. This means that the move to announce the three finalists weeks before the final announcement will no longer be taken and the winner will be picked from the 30 players with the top 30 rankings also announced on the same day.
3. The winner and final classification will be revealed before the end of the calendar year. It was previously announced in January, but will now be announced in December as previously done before the partnership with FIFA.
Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr to win the last edition of the FIFA Ballon d’Or and has a good chance to win the next one set for December along with teammates Luis Suarez and Neymar.