Fifa’s acrimonious rupture from Ballon d’Or award driven by objective to improve FA relations

FIFA’S acrimonious rupture from France Football over ownership of the prestigious Ballon d’Or award was fuelled by Gianni Infantino’s determination to improve relations with the English FA, according to reports in Spain.

Football’s governing body will have presided over the gong since 2010 after agreeing to pay £13million for merge of the two major player awards with the French magazine.

MADRID, SPAIN : Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Ronaldo holds the Golden Ball award (L) for best player of the year presented by the France Football magazine, and the FIFA World Player of the Year award (R), before the start of the Real Madrid versus the Rest of the World team exhibition soccer match as a homage to Real Madrid at the end of their centenary year, in Madrid 18.12.2002. EPA PHOTO EFE / BERNARDO RODRIGUEZ
The Ballon d’Or and Fifa World Player of the year awards will again be separate
epa05542383 FIFA President Gianni Infantino during an interview on the occasion of the 'World Summit on Ethics and Leadership in Sports' at the the headquarters of the FIFA, in Zurich, Switzerland, 16 September 2016. EPA/WALTER BIERI
Gianni Infantino is determined to improve Fifa’s strained relationship with FA

However, the contract came to an abrupt end just short of a six-year union. The Fifa Ballon d’or will again lose its ‘Fifa’ tag and be voted for exclusively by journalists, while the Fifa World Player of the Year award — which ran from 1991 to 2009 — will be resurrected.

And AS report Infantino’s decision not to renew the deal was based on the fact the annual ceremony is held in Zurich — and the Fifa president wants to move the next one to London.

The Swiss-Italian’s objective is to repair the organisation’s strained relationship with FA chief, Greg Clarke.

FILE PHOTO: Former Football League Chairman Greg Clarke set to be named new Football Assocaition Chairman. The Football League Chairman Greg Clarke ... Hull City v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship - Play-Off - Final - Wembley Stadium ... 28-05-2016 ... London ... United Kingdom ... Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport. Unique Reference No. 26490301 ...
FA chairman Greg Clarke appears to have been handed olive branch by Fifa
PA:Press Association

Watch ALL the goals from the Premier League before anyone else for FREE plus all the latest news, fixtures and results and live match commentary all on the go with the new Sun Football App – click here to download

File photo dated 14-01-2009 of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo poses along side manager Alex Ferguson with his FIFA World Player of the Year award PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 22, 2015. Sir Alex Ferguson signed a contract with Manchester United in 2010 that ensured he would receive a higher salary than any of his players, the Scot has revealed in his latest book. "Ryan Giggs is eventually going to be a great manager - he has intelligence, presence and knowledge," said Ferguson, who describes Giggs, Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only four truly world-class players he managed at United. See PA story SOCCER Ferguson. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Cristiano Ronaldo presented with his World Player of the Year award in 2008
PA:Press Association
Portugal's Luis Figo (C) poses with the FIFA World Player 2001 award during the FIFA World Player of the Year awards in Zurich December 17, 2001. England's David Beckham (L) was second and Spain's Raul Gonzalez (R) was third. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
David Beckham finished behind Luis Figo in 2001 Fifa World Player of the Yeard list
LIS03:SPORT-SOCCER FIFA:LISBON,20JAN97 - Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo Lima (C), England's Alan Shearer (L) and Liberian George Weah hold their trophies after a ceremony at the Belem Cultural Center in Lisbon January 20. Ronaldo Lima, who plays for Barcelona, was crowned FIFA world player of the year, George Weah of AC Milan was second and England's captain Alan Shearer was third. jo/jr/Photo by Jose Manuel Ribeiro REUTERS
Alan Shearer, Ronaldo and George Weah at the 1996 Fifa World Player of the Year award ceremony

The head of English football has distanced itself from Fifa following the corruption scandal and controversial decisions to allow the next two editions of the World Cup to be held in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022).

However, Infantino sees the FA as a powerful ally and will offer the first Fifa World Player of the Year award as an olive branch.

Since the merge, the January ceremony has been held exclusively in Zurich.

However, Infantino would like to hold the Fifa World Player of the Year award in various major cities.

Leave a comment