The Golden Ball award is the most prestigious individual award in the world of football, but in recent years the choice of which player to receive the valuable award has been heavily criticized by a number of experts and football greats around the world. Therefore, the organizers of "France Football" decided to make several changes to the rules for awarding this prize.
This was announced by another French publication - "L'Équipe", and the changes are four and cover various aspects of service, the choice of journalists, etc.
These are the four changes that will take effect from the next edition:
1. The season will count, not the calendar year
So far, the Golden Ball has reported the best of the calendar year, from January to December, which is equivalent to taking into account two half-seasons of two different campaigns, rather than an entire season. From now on, the achievements of the season from August to July will be assessed. Thus, the next prize will be taken into account until the European Women's Championship, which will be held from 6 to 31 July 2022.
Therefore, the World Cup in Qatar will not count for the Golden Ball in 2022, but will be considered for the next 2023, because when it is held in December, it falls within the next season.
2. Changes in the preparation of the lists of participants
The Golden Ball announces a list of 30 names for men, 20 for women, and 10 for the Yashin and Kopa Awards. Until now, they were chosen by the French editions France Football and L'Équipe.
To make the choice fairer, unquestionable and relevant, others proposed by the other two will be added to these names. One is the Golden Ball ambassador, Didier Drogba, and the other will be the journalist who was closest to knowing the top five at the helm of the Golden Ball last year. Thus, for the next edition of this award ceremony, it will be the Vietnamese Truong An Ngoc for the men's vote and the Czech Karolina Glavachkova for the women's vote.
3. Only representatives of the countries in the Top 100 of the FIFA rankings will vote
So far, representatives of 170 countries have voted in the list of candidates. L'Équipe is hesitant whether countries "that do not have a great football culture or historical legitimacy" could weaken the jury's credibility. This will now reduce the number of countries with the right to vote. "Only representatives of the top 100 countries in the FIFA rankings (and the top 50 for women) will be able to vote," the paper said.
4. Voting criteria for a player
Criterion number 1 will focus mainly on the individual performance and overall behavior of the applicants.
As, after all, football is still a team sport, criterion number 2 will focus on the team's collective performance and performance during the season. Finally, criterion number 3 will relate to the player's class and sense of fair play, as the organizers believe that players should set a good example with their behavior on and off the field. Also, the new rules will eliminate the criterion for the overall career of the player so far, so that players can compete equally.