Foul Play over Lionel Messi's Win at Best Player Awards? FIFA Deny Allegations
World football governing body FIFA dismissed allegations that the best men's player award, which Lionel Messi won, was fixed.
Lionel Messi won the Best FIFA Men's player award (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi was named Best Men's Player at the FIFA awards but a new controversy has raised concerns of the whole process of deciding the 'best'. Following Messi's win, Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera came out to allege that he did not vote for Messi, who beat Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award, that had votes cast by national team manager and captains as well as various media representatives.
However, FIFA issued a statement where they said, "We have checked the voting documents submitted by the Nicaraguan FA and all documents are signed and confirmed with the official stamp of the Nicaraguan FA."
"Having compared with the vote sheets submitted by the federation and the ones we have published on FIFA.com, we confirm that we have the right votes signed by the player. We are asking the Nicaraguan Football Federations to inquire on this matter," FIFA's statement added.
Barrera, who on record voted for Messi as his first choice, followed by Sadio Mane and Ronaldo in the two and three spots, said in a social media post he had not taken part, writing, "I did not vote in The Best 2019 awards," adding, "Any information about me is false."
No Vote por los premios #TheBest2019 cualquier información sobre mi voto es falso , gracias.
— Juan Barrera (@juanbarreranica) September 24, 2019
In an interview with La Prensa, Varrera said he did not vote for Messi, adding that while last year he did vote, this year he did not.
On its part, FIFA has said that two votes from Egypt for national star Mohamed Salah did not count in its Men's Player of the Year ballot because they were in capital letters.
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