The Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020, the award organisers Group L’Equipe have confirmed.
The decision comes after consultation with the group stakeholders, who decided that the conditions under which the award is usually handed out could not be met this year.
Near worldwide stoppages because of the coronavirus – even though seasons resumed in England, Germany, Spain and Italy, among other leagues – have led organisers to determine that a cancellation is the fairest outcome.
“As the organiser of the Ballon d’Or, the Group L’Equipe, to which France Football belongs, decided not to award the most prestigious individual trophy there is in 2020,” a statement said.
Pascal Ferré, editor-in-chief of France Football, added: “For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or will take a break.
“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met.
“We believe that such a singular year cannot – and should not – be treated as an ordinary one.
“From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the 11 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 unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League played in a single game).”
Ferré confirmed that the award will take a one-year break before returning in 2021 when, they hope, conditions to make a fair judgement will have returned to the football world.
“Finally, the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation,” Ferré said.
“All the award seekers will not be in the same boat, some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison? To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options.
“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.”
Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for a sixth time in 2019, while Megan Rapinoe claimed the women’s Ballon d’Or.