The prestigious world football prize, the Ballon d'Or, will not be handed out in 2020 due to "lack of sufficient fair conditions," organizers France Football announced on Monday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
"In exceptional circumstances, we must make exceptional provisions. For the first time in its history, which began in 1956, the Ballon d'Or France Football will not be awarded in 2020," a statement by France Football read.
"Because such a unique year cannot - and should not - be treated as an ordinary year. When in doubt, it is better to abstain than to persist," the statement continued.
Founded by France Football in 1956, the Ballon d'Or is an annual football award that has been widely recognized as the most prestigious individual honor for footballers.
Between 2010 and 2015, the award merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award and was renamed the FIFA Ballon d'Or. However, the partnership ended in 2016, and the name reverted to the Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award as the Best FIFA Men's (Women's) Player.
Argentina's Lionel Messi has been awarded the Ballon d'Or a record six times after his win in 2019, one more win than his archrival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The magazine started giving out a women's award in 2018, but that has also been put on hold.
Football, like other sports in the world, has been hit hard over past four months by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the impact ongoing and the future uncertain.
Almost all football leagues in Europe have been suspended for a period, and the French Ligue 1 has even been abandoned with ten rounds unfinished.
The cancellation means that Messi will keep his crown for another 12 months and Ronaldo will be left to wait until next year for a chance to equal the Argentine.