FIFA’s The Best awards have been hit by a vote rigging scandal, as football associations and captains have claimed they did not vote for Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, Sportsmail reports.
Messi won the best men’s player accolade in Milan on Monday, pipping Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to the award.
And now the Argentine’s claim to the honour, has been thrown into serious doubt, following questions over the legitimacy of the voting.
The Egyptian Football Association, Sudan’s coach Zdravko Logarusic and Nicaragua’s captain, Juan Barrera, have raised concerns over uncounted or misallocated votes.
Egypt’s association have called on FIFA, to explain why the votes of its national coach Shawki Ghareeb and captain Ahmed, were not taken into account, after they were sent in on August 15.
Ghareeb and El-Mohammadi are not mentioned in FIFA’s publication of official votes.
Their statement “asks 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.
Also, Sudan’s coach Lugarisic and Nicaragua’s Juan Barrera took to social media, to claim that the votes published by FIFA, in their names, did not reflect their actual choices.
Lugarisic says his first choice was Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, but FIFA’s voting document showed Messi as his first selection.
Barrera is also adamant that he did not vote for Messi, as claimed by FIFA.
FIFA determines the best players based on the votes of national team coaches, captains as well as a journalist from each country.