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Portugal complain about ‘flawed’ Ballon d’Or process

FIFA’s Ballon d’Or concept has been labelled “flawed” by Portuguese football federation president Fernando Gomes, following the decision to extend its voting deadline.

Coaches, team captains and journalists will have until 29th November to put in their votes for the award, with the window reopened after its initial 15th November deadline.

Some observers have sensed a conspiracy afoot, although FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke denied any suggestions of manipulation.

Valcke insists the extension came after a low number of votes were cast, something that is precisely the problem according to Gomes.

“The whole process of the voting for the Ballon d’Or is not transparent”, Gomes told RTP.

”The extension of the deadline because of a poor number of votes is a sign that the people are beginning to discredit a process that is flawed from the outset.

“Hence, they are refraining from participating.”

Valcke claimed it was to enhance the credibility of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award that more votes were sought via the extension.

“We have always said that we wanted to get 75% of votes”, Valcke said. “The Ballon d’Or should have a credible opinion. Last year we had over 80% of voters.”

Whether FIFA have devalued the award or whether the hype surrounding it  has rendered it farcical, is hard to say. One things’s for sure though, the annual award, when it was organised by France Football magazine, never attracted this kind of controversy.

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