Paris- The prestigious Ballon d’Or has been canceled for the first time in its 64-year history due to the coronavirus pandemic that has disrupted the football season.
The Ballon d’Or is awarded on an annual basis by French magazine France Football, the Ballon d’Or has been given out every year since Stanley Matthews won the first one in 1956.
France Football and organizer group L’Equipe announced this year’s cancellation in a statement on Monday that the conditions for the prize to take place had not been met.
They confirmed because football was impacted so heavily due to lack of fair conditions, no players will be presented with the Ballon d’Or.
Last year, Barcelona’s Argentina star Lionel Messi has won it a record six times- one more than longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the men’s category. While U.S. women’s national team co-captain Megan Rapinoe was awarded the female-only award Ballon d’Or.
Robert Lewandowski was toppled to win the 2020 Ballon d’Or over current holder Messi after a spectacular 50-goal season. However, the 2019 edition of the award will face the same fate as the next best player will only be crowned in 2021.