– FIFA The Best award has come under serious allegations of rigging
– Lionel Messi scooped the award ahead of Van Dijk and Ronaldo
– But Egypt FA, Sudan FA and Nicaragua’s captain have raised complaints
FIFA The Best award that was handed to Lionel Messi has been contested by the Egyptian FA, Sudan’s coach Zdravko Logarusic and Nicaragua’s captain Juan Barrera.
They have all raised concerns over the authenticity of the ballots by FIFA which was in favour of the Barcelona star.
Egypt’s national team handler Shawki Ghareeb and captain Ahmed El-Mohammadi were reportedly not mentioned in FIFA’s publication of official votes.
In response to the compliant, the world football governing body added that they were not included because signatures on Egypt’s ballots “were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid.”
FIFA added that “voting forms were also not signed by the (federation) general secretary which is mandatory.”
The Egyptian FA claim they officially sent Egypt’s vote to FIFA on August 15, four days before the deadline.
Their statement had earlier asked “FIFA why the Egyptian vote was not accepted” and goes on to confirm the EFA have opened an ‘investigation’ into the circumstances of this failure.
On the other hand, Sudan’s coach Lugarisic and Nicaragua’s Juan Barrera took to social media to indicate that their names did not reflect their actual choices in the list published by FIFA.
Lugarisic revealed he vote for Salah but FIFA’s voting document showed Messi as his first selection.
Barrera is also insisted that he did not vote for Messi, as claimed by FIFA.
“I did not vote for Messi. I was surprised to be on the list of captains who voted for Messi and there is no explanation how it appeared there,” Barrera is reported to have said.
The best players based on the votes of national team coaches, captains as well as a journalist from each country and the votes are then made public for transparency.
Meanwhile, TUKO.co.ke had ealier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo was snubbed as Lionel Messi won the FIFA Best Player of the Year for the sixth time in his career.
The Barcelona talisman beat his fiercest rival and Liverpool’s center-back Virgil Van Dijk to claim the award.
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