Ballon d’Or cancelled for 2020 as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo duel put on hold

There will be no Ballon d’Or winner this year, with the prize put on hold for the first time in its history.
The highly sought-after award is given by France Football to the best male and female player in world football, and is judged by a panel of experts.
There are also awards for the best young player and goalkeeper.
In recent years Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have battled it out for the award, with only Luka Modric breaking their duopoly since 2007.
No player will have the chance to stake their claim for the 2020 prize though, with France Football deciding not to give out the award.
Editor Pascal Ferré announced: “In extraordinary circumstances, extraordinary measures.
“For the first time in its history, which began in 1956, the France Football Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020, due to a lack of sufficient fair conditions.”
He then went on to give an explanation of the reasoning, which means Lionel Messi will have no successor as Ballon d’Or.
“Because such a unique year cannot – and should not – be treated as an ordinary year. When in doubt, it is better to abstain than to persist,” Ferré continued.
“Becuase the Ballon d’Or conveys values other than sporting excellence alone, such as setting an example, solidarity and responsibility.
“Because the fairness that is so important for this award could not be preserved, in particular at the statistical level and also in preparation since all those aspiring to the award could not be housed in the same boat, some having seen their season cut radically short, others not. So how can we compare the incomparable?
“Because we did not want to put an indelible asterisk on such as ‘ trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the Covid-19 health crisis’. We will always prefer a small sprain on our history rather than a large scar.
“This is the first time since 1956 that the Ballon d’Or has taken a break.
“This parenthesis does not please us but seems to us the most responsible and logical choice. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.
“We cannot bring ourselves to rely on crippled seasons, with so many special arrangements, to decide on the best. The best of what, by the way? It would not be worthy of our history.
“Because of our approximately 220 jurors (men and women combined) distributed around the world, some may have been distracted or diverted from their observation mission due to other priorities and emergencies to manage.
“Because the history of the Ballon d’Or
is too precious to take the risk of damaging it.
“In these turbulent times, taking a break is a luxury and an invaluable necessity.
“So that football, as a whole, regains dynamism and momentum, passion and emotion.
“That is what the Ballon d’Or strongly represents.”
Manchester United legend Denis Law remains the only Scottish player to win the award, with Germany providing no fewer than five winners.