FIFA Best Award Voting Controversy Continues After Egypt Ballot Rejected
Controversy surrounding the voting for the FIFA Men's Best Player award continues, with it emerging that Egypt's votes for Mo Salah did not count.
According to FIFA Salah finished in fourth position - 20 points behind FIFA Men's Best Player Lionel Messi, who racked up 46 points following a sublime 51-goal season for Barcelona.
But while the vote from Egypt's media representative Hany Danial (Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Salah) can be seen in the official ballot forms published, the choices from captain Ahmed Elmohamady and manager at the time, Shawky Gharib, are not present.
I don't know untill when we're not going to be one hand. Our representative of EGYPT :flag_eg: in THE BEST - MEN'S PLAYER 2019 decided to put MOHAMED SALAH 3rd of his choices for our country that's a shame when you find other countries choosing your star as their #1.@MoSalah pic.twitter.com/7cSZkJljuA- G E B A L I I •jr (@OmarElgebalyy) September 24, 2019
It's said the forms were sent off on August 15 and, unsurprisingly, both voted for Salah as number one.
And when the Egyptian FA posed the question as to why the votes did not count, FIFA say it is because the voting form was not filled out correctly.
A statement given to Omnisport reads: "During the monitoring of the votes submitted by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on August 15, it was remarked that the signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid .The voting forms were also not signed by the general secretary which is mandatory."
The world football governing body also say they sent two reminders to the President's Office of the EFA but received no response in time before the voting window closed on August 21.
Salah, who recently removed any reference to Egypt in his Twitter bio, received a phone call from interim head of the EFA Amr el-Ganainy, apologising for the mistake.
"I phoned Salah to clarify that it was an unintentional mistake, and that the EFA supports him and all the foreign-based players," he is quoted as saying by local media on Wednesday, as per Al Jazeera.
"I told Salah that whoever committed this administrative mistake will be punished."
Elsewhere in the voting, Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera is down to have selected Messi on the FIFA voting slips despite claiming he didn't even cast a vote this year.
SPORTbible contacted FIFA for comment and a spokesman issued the following statement: "We have checked the voting documents submitted by the Nicaraguan FA and all documents are signed and confirmed with the official stamp of the Nicaraguan FA.
"Having compared with the vote sheets submitted by the federation and the ones we have published on FIFA.com, we confirm that we have the right votes signed by the player. We are asking the Nicaraguan Football Federations to inquire on this matter."
There were also talk that Sudan head coach Zdravko Logarusic had his FIFA Men's Best Player award vote rigged when a screenshot of his supposed form begun to do the rounds, but it was all a photoshop from a Ronaldo fan.
Logarusic's official vote saw him pick Messi first, Van Dijk second and Mane third.