October 7 – The suspicion that FIFA rigged the vote for its Best Awards to ensure superstar Lionel Messi won for a sixth time refuses to go away, with Sudanese coach Zdravko Lugaroszic re-iterating that he didn’t vote for the Argentine despite FIFA listing him as having done so.
To make his point Lugaroszic even posted his voting form on his Facebook site showing he had voted in favour of Egyptian Mohamed Salah.
Lugaroszic’s account has been supported by the head of the Sudanese Football Federation (NFD), Nasruddin Humaidati, who told Al Arabiya television that the denial made by FIFA about a mistake in Sudan’s coaching vote for Lionel Messi was an incorrect claim.
“We chose Mohamed Salah first, then Sadio Mane and finally Killian Mbappe, but we were surprised that our vote went to Messi, we sent FIFA to open an investigation,” said the Sudanese FA chief.
“What FIFA published through his site has nothing to do with the list we voted for, FIFA informed us that he received two letters to vote for the coach of Sudan, but we voted for Salah and told them so.”
Doubts over the integrity of the vote count were first raised by the Egyptian FA whose votes were not counted in the ballot.
FIFA responded that Egypt’s ballot was “in capital letters and thus seemed not valid”. But the criticisms did not go away forcing FIFA to release a remarkable statement expressing their “disappointment” and the reports “questioning the integrity of the voting process for the awards.”
“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. The written documents must also be signed by the responsible persons of the association as well as by the persons authorised to vote,” said their statement.
“Both FIFA and the independent observer can demonstrate that all the votes submitted in accordance with the rules and within the deadlines were taken into account. Consequently, there is no doubt whatsoever as to the authenticity of the result.”
But the problem is that they can’t and Sudan say they can prove otherwise and even posted so on Facebook.
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