Controversy is not far away when the annual FIFA Ballon d’Or pre-list is disclosed and this year is no exception with top players and coaches overlooked while some others are selected.
The following ten women (in alphabetical order) are contenders for the title of FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2015:
Nadine Angerer (Germany/Brisbane Roar/Portland Thorns), Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland/FC Rosengård), Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada/West Virginia University), Amandine Henry (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Eugénie Le Sommer (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Carli Lloyd (USA/Houston Dash), Aya Miyama (Japan/Okayama Yunogo Belle), Megan Rapinoe (USA/Seattle Reign), Célia Šašić (Germany/1.FFC Frankfurt), Hope Solo (USA/Seattle Reign).
Two players from that list have retired from football altogether – Sasic and Angerer, Buchanan is an up and coming player so it is a surprise to see her there. Becky Sauerbrunn from the USA and Lucy Bronze from England could have been selected as they performed well during the World Cup. Carly Lloyd should win at a canter because she scored a hat trick in the world cup final including a goal from her own half.
The following ten coaches (in alphabetical order, giving first nationality and then team in brackets) are contenders for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football 2015:
Calle Barrling (Sweden/Swedish U-19 national team), Colin Bell (England/1.FFC Frankfurt), Farid Benstiti (France/Paris Saint-Germain), Jill Ellis (USA/USA national team), Laura Harvey (England/Seattle Reign), John Herdman (England/Canadian national team), Gérard Prêcheur (France/Olympique Lyonnais), Mark Sampson (Wales/English national team), Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japanese national team), Thomas Wörle (Germany/FC Bayern Munich).
It is quite interesting to note that FIVE British born coaches are listed: Jill Ellis who has won the World Cup and is therefore favourite to win the award, Mark Sampson who has led England to the bronze medal in the tournament, Colin Bell who has won the Champions League, Laura Harvey, the ex-Arsenal manager who has won the NWSL shield before losing in the final and John Herdman who coached Canada at home.
With the usual controversy surrounding the awards it is important to explain how the players are chosen as per the regulations:
In respect of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award, from a shortlist of ten (10) female players put together collectively by the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFAWomen’s World Cup™ and suitable representatives from the Amaury Group
In respect of the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award, from a shortlist often (10) coaches put together collectively by various FIFA committees (namely: (i) the Football Committee; (ii) the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup™) and suitable representatives from the Amaury Group.
And the voting system:
The winners of the Awards are selected by a diverse international jury made up of the current coaches of national teams, the current captains of national teams and specialist journalists (limited to one journalist per country for the men’s Awards and one journalist per country for the women’s Awards). Each of the three categories of jury has the same electoral weight (i.e. the votes of the current coaches, the votes of the current captains and the votes of the specialist journalists shall each make up one-third of the election notwithstanding the number of voters in each respective category)
In respect of each jury member’s nominations, the three (3) nominated players and three (3) nominated coaches receive five (5), three (3) and one (1) point(s) respectively, dependent upon whether the juror places the player or coach first (in which case they receive 5 points), second (3 points) or third (1point).
The Award is bestowed upon the player or coach in each particular category of Award who receives the highest weighted percentage of points i.e. percentage of points received following application of electoral weighting of the three (3) categories of jury as described above.
My prediction is Carly Lloyd for the player of the year award and I don’t know for the Coach of the year as it looks a wide open race.