Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has told tz he was “disturbed” by FIFA’s decision to extend the Ballon d’Or vote and plans to investigate due to concerns as to whether it was “democratic.”
Bayern and France star Franck Ribery, who has already won the UEFA European Player of the Year prize, had been the favourite to claim the 2013 Ballon d’Or until FIFA extended the voting deadline from Nov. 15 to Nov. 29.
The decision, which FIFA said had been motivated by the low number of votes received prior to the original closing date, appears to benefit Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored four goals for Portugal across the two-legged World Cup playoff victory over Sweden on Nov. 15 and 19.
Hoeness suggested Ribery -- who played a starring role in Bayern’s success in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal last season -- may lose out as a result of the date change and said the club will conduct their own inquiry into the matter.
“We will look at every single vote that came in prior to Nov. 15 and at the votes that came in afterwards,” he told Munich-based newspaper tz.
Hoeness said that, after examining the voting, Bayern may raise the question of “why the thing was extended,” and he added: “Then we might be able to say something about it.
“It disturbed me severely that the voting period, which had an end date to it, was extended all of a sudden and still I don’t know why. Hopefully this is a democratic election and there is nothing odd there.”
Ribery, Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi make up the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, which will be awarded at a ceremony in Munich on Jan. 13.