'Ballon d'Or

UEFA, Amaury Group To Co-Organise Ballon d’Or Awards In 2024

Photo credit:AFP

UEFA, the governing body of European football and the Amaury group, which owns L’Equipe and France Football magazine, the creators of the prestigious Ballon d’Or awards, have announced a joint partnership to co-organise the annual awards ceremony beginning from 2024.

The Paris-based Amaury group will maintain ownership of the Ballon d’Or and will continue to oversee the voting process.

UEFA, on the other hand, will be responsible for marketing commercial rights and assisting in the organisation of the awards gala.

This collaboration also brings the introduction of two new prizes in 2024, recognising the Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year.

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Jean-Etienne Amaury, the managing director of the Amaury group, stated, “we are very happy with this partnership to co-organise the Ballon d’Or ceremony”.

“It’s a trophy created in 1956 by France Football, the same year of the creation of the European Champions Clubs’ Cup, so there’s a common history between UEFA and the Ballon d’Or.

“The ceremony has taken on a global scale over the past 15 years with worldwide media coverage,” he added.

“So the partnership with UEFA makes perfect sense since it is one of the major players in this sport.”

The annual ceremony takes place in Paris, but there is the possibility it could move to other big European cities after 2024, Amaury further added.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin emphasised on the significance of the partnership, he stated “It’s the meeting of the two best brands in football. On one side, the trophy in football is the Ballon d’Or, and on the other side, UEFA has the best competition in the world”.

“So there was a sense in doing something together. All players dream of winning a UEFA competition and the Ballon d’Or,” he added.

The Ballon d’Or was initially awarded in 1956 to the best European footballer of the season, expanded in 1995 to include players of all origins based in Europe.

In 2007, it transformed into a global prize, allowing players from across the world to be eligible. A recent change in its criteria now bases the award on a player’s performance over the last season, rather than the entire calendar year.

In the most recent edition of the Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi claimed the prestigious title for a record-extending eighth time, following his outstanding contributions to Argentina’s triumph in the 2022 World Cup.

Aitana Bonmati was awarded the Women’s Ballon d’Or for her exceptional performances with Barcelona in winning the Champions League and with the Spanish national team in securing the World Cup.