Danish paper BT and Norwegian daily Dagbladet have published a scandal overnight claiming that the coaches of Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Kuwait and Vanuatu are all complaining that the recent Ballon d’Or was rigged.
In shocking revelations, the paper have quotes from the coaches claiming that their votes for the 2013 Ballon d’Or winner were artificially changed in order that Cristiano Ronaldo should win this year’s gong ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery.
Jorvan Vieira, the 60-year-old Brazilian head coach of Kuwait, is quoted by BT saying:
I think there has been any fraud here, I voted for Ibrahimovic.
According to FIFA’s official list of the votes cast, Vieira voted, in descending order, for Messi, Neymar and then Ronaldo. According to FIFA, Vieira, contrary to his assertion, never voted for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Beefing up their story in the face of the serious accusations, BT also have quotes from the Fiji national team coach Juan Carlos Buzzetti who is alleged to have voted for Ronaldo, then Ribery then Robert Lewandowski:
I voted for Cristiano, Messi and Ribery. I have in no way voted Lewandowski, he is not on par with the other three.
Perhaps the most biting claims of cheating have been levelled by Albania’s national team coach Giovanni Di Biasi, with the 57-year-old Italian going on the record in Dagbladet saying:
I gave five points to Ronaldo, three to Messi and one to Ibrahimovic. I did not give five to Ibrahimovic. This is bullshit and lies.
These latest revelations come days after Qatar’s national coach Fahad Al Zarraa said “I was told by my president to vote for Ronaldo to help Blatter clean up his image as a token of appreciation for bringing the World Cup here.”
A full list of all the votes cast in the race for the 2013 Ballon d’Or award can be seen here.