Votes cast by Egypt captain and coach did not show up on officially released FIFA ballot list.
Neither acting head coach Shawky Gharib nor captain Ahmed Elmohamady were included in the voting breakdown on FIFA’s website.
This led to anger among much of Egypt football community and a feeling that Mohamed Salah is wronged by FIFA.
FIFA has now released the reason as to why this happened. They claim that Egypt captain and manager used capital letters in their signatures on ballot.
It is also revealed that the ballots didn’t have the Egyptian FA federation general secretary’s signature which is mandatory.
FIFA has also revealed that they contacted Egyptian FA twice to remind FA to submit the properly signed voting forms on August 19 and claim they didn’t receive any proper reply.
Mo Salah’s reaction to Egyptian FA not voting
Mohamed Salah didn’t take it kindly that his own countrymen didn’t think he was the best player for the year.
He removed the word Egypt from his Twitter bio and made his mind clear by posting a tweet which roughly translates to
Whatever they do to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.
مهما حاولوا يغيروا حبي ليكي ولناسك مش هيعرفوا❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/CgM7w1xKXY— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) September 24, 2019
This led to a lot of speculation among Egyptian media that all is not well between Mohamed Salah and Egyptian FA.
Egyptian FA’s Reaction
The Egyptian FA claimed that both coach Shawky Gharib and captain Ahmed Elmohamady had voted for Egyptian star Mohamed Salah to win the award and placed him in the first place.
They also made their frustration with FIFA clear about both their representatives’ votes not being counted.
FA also demanded an explanation from FIFA as to why this process couldn’t have been more transparent.
Other Controversies surrounding the ballot
The coach of Sudan team Zdravko Logarušić and the captain of Nicaragua Juan Barrera have also claimed inaccuracies regarding their votes.
Juan Barrera took to twitter to say “Any information on my vote for #TheBest2019 was falsified, thank you” translated from below.
No Vote por los premios #TheBest2019 cualquier información sobre mi voto es falso , gracias.— Juan Barrera (@juanbarreranica) September 24, 2019
Interestingly both Zdravko Logarušić and Juan Barrera say they voted for Salah in the first place but it was changed to Lionel Messi in the final list.
But FIFA claims that they have checked the voting documents submitted by their FAs and all these documents are signed and confirmed with official stamps.
FIFA also asked the FA’s of Nicaragua and Sudan to launch an inquiry on this matter.
FIFA has officially released a statement under from all corners of the media in which they tried to highlight the following
These reports are unfair and misleading.
The voting procedure for each of the awards is supervised and monitored by an independent observer, in this case PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.
Should there have been any case of wrong-doing, and even if this did not affect the result of the vote, FIFA will investigate and apply sanctions where necessary.
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To check all the ballots officially released by FIFA click here