Malawi national football team coach and captain are conspicuously missing on the voters roll for the Fifa 2015 Ballon d’Or which Barcelona star striker Lionel Messi won on Monday.
The Fifa Ballon d’Or is an annual association football award given to the male player considered to have performed the best in the previous calendar year.
It is awarded based on the votes from national team coaches and captains, as well as journalists from around the world.
However, Flames coach Ernest Mtawali and captain Limbikani Mzava did not vote in the 2015 awards.
Only Malawian sports journalist Peter Kanjere cast his vote for Messi, according to statistics posted on Fifa website on the Ballon d’Or.
Mtawali and Mzava’s names were also absent on World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football, Women’s World Player of the Year and World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said a technical problem was behind Malawi’s representatives.
“I sent them the forms that they were supposed to use to vote,” Nyirenda said. “But they missed the deadline, that’s why their vote didn’t count.”
The awards started in 2010 after France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the men’s Fifa World Player of the Year Award were merged.
The winner of the inaugural 2010 Fifa Ballon d’Or was Messi who then went on to reclaim the title the following two years.
The award has been dominated by Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as part of their ongoing rivalry.
This year, Messi beat Ronaldo and Neymar to the 2015 award. n