A number of changes to the Ballon d’Or have been confirmed, with arguably the biggest of them all seeing the prize presented on a seasonal basis rather than for a calendar year.
The Ballon d’Or had traditionally been presented to the best player over a 12-month period, taking into account performances from January to December.
However, according to L’Équipe, the next edition will take performances into account for the entire 2021/22 season, and will end with the Women’s European Championships that take place between July 6 and July 31.
Meanwhile, the men’s World Cup, which takes place in Qatar between November 21 and December 18, will be included in the 2023 presentation of the award.
The main reasons behind the change, is that in effect, two half-seasons were being assessed when the award was presented at the end of a calendar year – January-July and August-December.
Starting the assessment for the award in August and ending it July, culminates with the start of the major domestic leagues and at the end of all competitions – including those at international level.
Other changes includes comprising an even stronger list of nominees for the award. The list of men’s players from L’Équipe and France Football journalists will be added to those from Ballon d’Or ambassador Didier Drogba. This also applies to the Kopa (best performing men’s player under 21) and Yashin (best performing goalkeeper) trophies.
Czech juror Karolina Hlavackova (Ruik), will also have a say in the winner of the women’s award and give her verdict on the 20 best players. The official lists will then be drawn up and then unveiled in September.
Meanwhile, a more streamlined voting system is set to be introduced , with only representatives from the 100 countries in the FIFA men’s rankings (50 for women) qualified to vote.
Clearer rules have also been brought into the voting criteria for individual players. The first criterion focuses primarily on the individual performance of the player, the second focuses on their contribution to the team, while the third assesses their sense of fair play.