Lionel Messi Best FIFA player award tainted with claims of corruption after player and coach revelation regarding the voting process.
The FIFA awards have been accused of corruption following claims from a captain and coach saying that they didn’t vote for Lionel Messi despite FIFA’s voting forums showing that they did. It is now being heavily speculated that the awards were rigged.
It surprised many when Lionel Messi was announced as the winner over Virgil Van Dijk who many had speculated to win the award. The centre-back had led his country to the nations league final and had won the champions league with Liverpool.
He had also gone an entire season without being dribbled past. However, Lionel Messi won the award by overtaking both Cristiano Ronaldo and Van Dijk in the voting. With 46 votes, the Argentine was clear ahead of both Van Dijk and Ronaldo who had accumulated 38 and 36 votes each.
🏆 #TheBest FIFA Men's Player 2019
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) September 23, 2019
FIFA have also made the voting forum public making it known who voted for whom. However, Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera has now come forward to claim that he didn’t vote for Lionel Messi. Despite FIFA’s list of votes showing that he had Messi as his number 1 pick.
Lionel Messi Best FIFA player award tainted with claims of corruption
“I did not vote for Messi,” Barrera explained to La Prensa.
“Last year I voted, but this time I did not.”
No Vote por los premios #TheBest2019 cualquier información sobre mi voto es falso , gracias.
— Juan Barrera (@juanbarreranica) September 24, 2019
Nicaragua National Team's captain Juan Barrera says he did not vote for Lionel Messi but apparently his name was on the list of the captains who voted and he doesn't know how it got there.
FIFA rigged the votes to make Messi win. Atleast Cristiano wins it fairly. https://t.co/I76P9SsDKY
— Mu. (@FutbolMuu) September 25, 2019
Barrera is joined by Sudanese coach Zdravko Lugarusic who has also claimed his votes were registered incorrectly. According to FIFA’s list, Lugarusic chose Messi in the first place, Van Dijk in second followed by Mane.
However, the Sudan coach has since shared a screenshot of his actual vote which shows Mohamed Salah as his number one pick followed by Mane and Mbappe.
Sudan head coach Zdravko Lugarisic claims that he made Mo Salah 🇪🇬 his first choice for #TheBestAwards but he was shocked to find out that his vote had gone to Messi.
— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) September 25, 2019
This is not the first time such claims have made the rounds. Back in 2015, several national captains insisted that their votes were altered. Coincidentally, Messi was also the winner back then.
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