Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has criticised the cancellation of this year’s Ballon d’Or.
The annual award is handed out to the best men’s and women’s player but was cancelled this year due to the coornavirus pandemic.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski was considered a front-runner for the award, having scored a remarkable 34 goals for the Bundesliga titleholders, and Rummenigge was disappointed with the decision to not honour the sport’s best players this season.
“I believe Robert Lewandowski is playing a fantastic season and he performed maybe the best season in his career,” Rummenigge said at a news conference on Monday.
“Unfortunately France Football cancelled the Golden Ball which we are not very happy [with] and in the end it’s not very fair, not just Bayern but also for Robert Lewandowski who might have won.
“I believe it’s very important that in a season that, except the French league, [the other leagues] performed through to the end of the season, it has to be possible to give the Golden Ball to the best footballer in the world and of course, I believe in those circumstances Robert would have a good chance to win it in the first time in his career.”
The award is run by magazine France Football and it cited the “lack of a sufficiently level playing field” as the reasoning behind cancelling this year’s ceremony for the first time since 1956.
In a statement announcing the decision, the organisers said that not enough games had been played to hand out the award.
“Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such a prize also means guaranteeing its irreproachability over time,” it added.
Rummenigge also said that he doubted a salary cap would be brought in this year with agents continually pushing for higher and higher wages even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, he said he hopes UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) model will be updated to reflect the current state of football.
“We have to modify financial fair play because in the past 10 years, football changed dramatically in the financial behavior,” Rummenigge added.
“And so we have to find different tools than maybe 10 years ago. I believe that is possible.
“I believe we have to find a modified FFP rule, which at the end is accepted by all stakeholders: that includes the players, the agents, and of course, last but not least, the clubs, because we have to live in a fair and serious way to convince that financial fair play is a helpful tool for everybody.”