July 20 (Reuters) - The Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year for the first time in its 64-year history after the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the football calendar, organisers France Football magazine said on Monday.
The prestigious Ballon d’Or, voted for by journalists and organised by French magazine France Football, is an annual prize awarded to the best male footballer in the world since 1956. The women’s Ballon d’Or was first awarded in 2018.
The 2019-20 season has been ravaged by the pandemic, with all the major European leagues suspending matches from March to June.
“From a sports perspective, 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,” Pascal Ferre, editor-in-chief of France Football, said in a statement.
“... Without forgetting that the other games were played – or will be played – in extraordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements).”
The final stages of the Champions League, from the quarter-finals onwards, has also been rescheduled as a mini-tournament in Portugal next month. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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