FIFA accused of rigging votes to help Lionel Messi beat Mohamed Salah in Best Awards
FIFA’s voting system, The Best, has been accused of being manipulated after several nations filed complaints.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi defeated Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus on Monday night.
The national team coach, the captain and a reporter from each country get a vote in each category.
However, Sudan coach Zdravko Lugarisic and Juan Barrera of Nicaragua said their ballots did not represent what they had actually submitted.
Lugarisic was also chosen as the first choice for Messi, but he took a screenshot to show he had opted for Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah.
However, FIFA insists that the documents submitted by the Nicaraguan and Sudanese federations have been published correctly and have come with official stamps. They contacted the two competent authorities to obtain information on this subject.
At the same time, the Egyptian football federation claims that its votes, from coach Shawki Ghareeb and captain Ahmed Elmohamady, were not included in the results.
“The Egyptian Football Federation officially sent Egypt’s vote to FIFA on August 15, four days before the deadline,” the Egyptian government said in a statement.
“National team captain Ahmed Elmohamady voted, while Olympic team director Shawki Ghareeb voted after the resignation of the coaching staff.”
He “asks FIFA why the Egyptian vote was not accepted” and decided to open an “investigation” on the circumstances of this failure.
In response to Egypt’s complaint, a FIFA spokesman told Reuters: “The Egyptian FA has received two reminders asking it to submit the duly signed voting forms on August 19, 2019.
“The Egyptian federation has not sent a reply within the (limited) deadline until Wednesday, August 21, 2019.
“Therefore, the votes of the Egyptian federation could not be counted.”
After Egypt did not vote, Salah posted a message on Twitter.
He tweeted: “Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.”