France Football have announced that their yearly award for the best player in world football, the Ballon d’Or, will undergo several reforms ahead of next year’s edition after criticism over Lionel Messi being awarded his seventh title earlier this season.
Firstly, the award period will move in line with the main European season and be awarded at the end of each campaign rather than being judged on a discreet calendar year. The next award ceremony will take place in September or October this year and will relate to this current season, taking into account the men’s Champions League and the women’s Euros. As a result, performances from this year’s World Cup in November and December will not be included in considerations until the 2022/2023 season’s award.
How the award is judged will change too with a smaller voting panel and clearer criteria laid out before voting, with individual performances carrying more weight rather than focusing on the trophies won by players. A player’s entire career will no longer be taken into account either.
Former Chelsea striker, Didier Drogba, will join the selection panel for the initial shortlist while the final voting pool will be reduced from 170 leading journalists from different countries to just 100 journalists, one from each of the top 100 nations in FIFA’s world rankings. The process will be the same for the Women’s Ballon d’Or, but via a smaller group of 50.