FIFA President Gianni Infantino's brainchild, The Best awards will be held in the first week of January 2017 Image: Getty
FIFA President Gianni Infantino hopes to give stiff competition to the Ballon d'Or, awarded annually by France Football after FIFA unveiled a new set of awards, title “The Best”. The awards, will debut in January 2017 and will rival the Ballon d'Or in recognising footballing brilliance around the world.
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter had joined hands with France Football late in the last decade to merge FIFA's 'Best Player of the Year' award with the Ballon d'Or, an award given to the best footballer playing in Europe at a club level. The arrival of Infantino was soon followed by a rift between FIFA and France Football, who decided to part ways with each other after a seven year association.
'The Best' awards will have a category for best individual players and coaches, both male and female and also the FIFA Puskas award, Fair-play award and The FIFPro XI selection.
FIFA announced that their Player of the Year award will now be called The Best: FIFA Football Awards. Fan votes will be counted. pic.twitter.com/tbJehh9S1i— Juan Velazquez (@JuanDirection57) November 1, 2016
'The Best' awards will also feature a new voting system this time around that will allow fans to have a say in determining the outcome of the awards. Half the voting will be done by the captains and coaches of national teams registered with FIFA and the other half will be split between an online poll that the fans can vote on and the choices of a selceted number of media houses and journalists.
It comes. New FIFA award for players will be named "The Best.— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) October 31, 2016
50% votes - players+coaches
50% votes - journalists+online vote.
All awards: pic.twitter.com/Us9dzh1YMi
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and other leading names will now have two prizes to fight for come January and FIFA President Infantiono will hope to leave the France Football fiasco in the rearview mirror when the dust settles.