La Liga cancels award ceremony for 2016-17 in order to launch new format
The Spanish Football League (LFP) has cancelled its annual Gala Awards Ceremony that honours the top players and coaches in Spain and will instead create a new format that ensures better attendance.
The 2015-16 awards winners Lionel Messi (best striker) and Luis Suarez (best world player) of Barcelona as well as Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann (best player of the year) did not attend the ceremony that was held in October 2016 in Valencia.
A La Liga statement to ESPN FC said: "With the aim of defining a new format and adapting it to the La Liga new strategy, we have taken the decision not to celebrate the Gala Awards for the 2016-17 campaign.
"La Liga will focus all its efforts to end 2017 with a great football party that will coincide with Round 17 of La Liga Santander and Round 20 of the LaLiga 1|2|3.
"During this time in which football will have a starring role, we will celebrate great events and it will be essential the involvement of the clubs and members of La Liga."
The top game of the 17th round of La Liga fixtures will be the first league Clasico of the season with Real Madrid hosting Barcelona on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 1 p.m. CET.
La Liga's awards were established in the 2008-09 campaign and rewards the best coach and player in each position -- goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward -- from Spain's top two divisions.
The players are chosen based on the voting of the captains of each club while the best player and best world player are selected via public voting.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.