Ballon d’Or: Chelsea’s Emma Hayes critical of scheduling clash for female players

Emma Hayes commented on the Ballon d'Or Féminin scheduling clash

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes has commented on the scheduling clash which left the majority of the Ballon d’Or Féminin nominees unable to attend last night’s ceremony.

Hayes spoke alongside men’s manager Thomas Tuchel after Chelsea were named club of the year at the Ballon d’Or last night.

Chelsea organised a reception for their players nominated for the prestigious award, with the stars appearing by video link at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

A total of five male Chelsea players were among the 30 nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or award, with five of the Blues’ female players shortlisted for the women’s accolade.

Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta, Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku were all able to attend the reception, with Yashin Trophy nominee Edouard Mendy also present.

But only an injured Pernille Harder was able to represent the women’s team, with Sam Kerr, Jessie Fleming, Fran Kirby and Magda Eriksson all on international duty.

“It’s been an amazing year,” Hayes said after Chelsea were named club of the year. “I’m very proud to be here.

“I just wish the girls were here. Hopefully in the future they can be part of the Ballon d’Or.”

Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Alexia Putellas and second-placed Jennifer Hermoso were able to fly into Paris for the ceremony.

But like the majority of the 20 nominees, third-placed Kerr, fourth-placed Vivianne Miedema and fifth-placed Lieke Martens were all unable to attend, as they were playing for their national teams.

This clash in scheduling by Ballon d’Or organisers has been widely criticised, with former nominee Lucy Bronze claiming it felt like the women’s award was an “afterthought”.

Alexia Putellas was able to attend the Ballon d'Or ceremony

“What’s the point of having a women’s award if they can’t be there in person,” the Manchester City and England star wrote in her column for GiveMeSport Women.

“One of the reasons for a women’s award is so we can share the stage with male footballers, but that’s completely lost if the female players can’t make the ceremony.

“They lose out on that special moment where they have the stage, and everything is about celebrating their achievements. The men get it, so why shouldn’t we?”

Chelsea were awarded club of the year after a highly successful 12 months for both the men and women’s teams.

Hayes’s side won the Women’s Super League for the second year running last season, and played in the Champions League final for the first time in the team’s history.

The men’s team won the Champions League for the second time, and reached the final of the FA Cup.

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