Investigations are currently underway concerning the awarding of the seventh Ballon d’Or to Leo Messi, according to French newspaper Le Monde. The probe will examine the relationship between Paris Saint-Germain and France Football’s chief editor, Pascal Ferré.
The investigation not only uncovers the receipt of various gifts but also includes multiple invitations to the VIP stand at Parc des Princes and a series of complimentary trips to Qatar, allegedly to persuade a change in vote, which was previously cast for Robert Lewandowski.
This issue broadly looks at the circumstances surrounding Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or win, from his transfer to PSG, his relationships within the football sphere and the process through which he managed to secure this prestigious award.
The investigation aims to provide transparency amidst concerns over potential influencing or manipulation associated with the award decision. However, no conclusions have been reached as the probe remains ongoing.
This investigation brings to light questions about the integrity of football’s highly prized awards, and exactly what norms and standards govern these recognitions. Existing concerns about financial and non-financial inducements in football have made this an issue of crucial significance.