FIFA accused of rigging votes to help Lionel Messi win The Best Awards

Lionel Messi has been caught up in a vote-rigging storm as several countries table complaints.

FIFA’s The Best voting system has been accused of being rigged after several nations tabled complaints.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi pipped Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo, of Juventus, to the gong on Monday night.

The national team coach, captain and a journalist from each country gets one vote in each category.

However, Sudan’s coach Zdravko Lugarisic and Nicaragua’s Juan Barrera have alleged their ballots do not represent what they actually submitted.

Barrera is reported to have said: “I did not vote for Messi. I was surprised to be on the list of captains who voted for Messi and there is no explanation how it appeared there.”

Lugarisic was also listed as voting for Messi as his first choice but he has taken a screenshot to show he opted for Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

However FIFA insist the documents submitted by the Nicaraguan and Sudanese FAs were published correctly and arrived with official stamps. They have contacted the two FAs to inquire on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Football Federation claim their votes, by 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 15 August, four days before the deadline,” a statement by the Egyptian governing body read.

“National team captain Ahmed Elmohamady voted while the Olympic team’s manager Shawki Ghareeb voted after the resignation of the coaching staff.”

It “asks FIFA why the Egyptian vote was not accepted” and has decided to open an “investigation” into the circumstances of this failure.

In response to Egypt’s complaint, a FIFA spokesperson told Reuters: “The Egyptian FA have received two reminders to submit the properly signed voting forms on 19 August 2019.

“The Egyptian FA has not submitted a response within the (limited) time frame until Wednesday, 21 August 2019.

“Therefore, the votes from the Egyptian FA could not be counted.”

After it was revealed Egypt did not cast a vote, Salah posted a message on Twitter.

He tweeted: “Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.”



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