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The Best Awards: FIFA vows to take action as Messi’s win stirs controversy

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FIFA has promised to take action, should there have been any case of wrongdoing, following lingering controversy regarding the outcome of the 2019 The Best Football Awards, even if this did not affect the result of the vote.

In a press statement, the world football governing body said it would investigate and apply sanctions where necessary.

FIFA stated that it was disappointed to see a number of reports in the media, questioning the integrity of the voting process for 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 statement read in part.

FIFA further explained that the rules requested all member associations, to submit their voting forms both electronically and in writing.

“The written documents must also be signed by the responsible persons of the association as well as by the persons authorised to vote. Therefore in order for a vote to be valid, it must include the respective signatures and the member association’s stamp.

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“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,” the statement added.

Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi was named as the men’s winner, ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.

But there has been a vote rigging scandal, as football associations and captains have claimed they did not vote for Messi.

This has led to FIFA having to make clarifications, as to why some votes were void.