FIFA has explained why some votes for Mohamed Salah to win The Best FIFA Men’s Player award was not counted.
Liverpool star Salah did not finish in the top three of the ballot, with his nominations from Egypt’s captain and coach not included.
Salah appeared to be upset when FIFA’s full list of voting was released without his country’s selections.
He reportedly removed a reference to Egypt from his Twitter bio and posted a cryptic message that read: “Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.”
FIFA moved to clarify why those particular votes for Salah were not counted in a statement released to Omnisport on Thursday.
The governing body said:
“During the monitoring of the votes submitted by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on August 15, it was remarked that the signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid (not authentic). The voting forms were also not signed by the general secretary which is mandatory.”
FIFA added the President’s Office of the EFA, which has undergone recent structural changes, was contacted about the issue, with no response received in time for the votes to count.
Further questions have been asked of FIFA about the voting process for The Best awards.
Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera claimed on Twitter he did not vote although his name is listed on FIFA’s official document, which says he chose Lionel Messi, Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo as his top three.
“We have checked the voting documents submitted by the Nicaraguan FA and all documents are signed and confirmed with the official stamp of the Nicaraguan FA,” FIFA said.
“Having compared with the vote sheets submitted by the federation and the ones we have published on FIFA.com… we confirm that we have the right votes signed by the player.
“We are asking the Nicaraguan Football Federations to inquire on this matter.”
Messi was named as the men’s winner, ahead of the likes of Salah, Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk, and long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe won the women’s award, while Salah’s Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and Rapinoe’s international coach Jill Ellis took the trophies for best coach.