Barcelona’s president Sandro Rosell has expressed his disappointment at FIFA’s decision to extend the voting period for various awards, chief among which being the FIFA Ballon d’Or, from November 15th to November 29th.
Not only have football's governing body extended the voting period, but they also decided to allow the revision of votes that had already been cast prior to the previous deadline.
That the change in rules coincided with Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb hat-trick which sent Portugal through to the World Cup finals at the expense of Sweden has also angered Rosell, as the Portuguese forward is now considered the odds-on favourite to claim his second FIFA Ballon d’Or ahead of Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, who has already won the award on four previous occasions.
FIFA have said that they were forced to move the deadline forward due to a low response from national team coaches and captains, and due to the lack of a representative number of votes for the awards.
“Due to a low number of responses from coaches and captains of the national teams as well as media representatives and in order to ensure a representative number of votes for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, the FIFA’s Women’s Player of the Year, the FIFA Coach of the Year and the FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, FIFA and France Football extended the deadline for the voting until 29th November 2013,” a FIFA spokesperson was quoted by The Independent.
Rosell was however unhappy with the move and said that Messi should still win the award. Speaking during the awarding of the Golden Shoe to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, the Barca chief said:
“If all the lobbying is ignored, the Ballon d’Or will go to Messi. First I would vote for Messi. Second would be Messi and third, Messi. Then I would vote for Xavi and Iniesta, and in sixth place Busquets.”
Rosell also insisted that the Argentine ace is in good spirits despite being ruled out for two months with a tear in his thigh.
“He is happy and smiling. He will return to action the same, if not better. He will return though, only return when he feels right and we are not setting a date for his return.”
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