FIFA has explained why some votes for Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah to win The Best FIFA Men’s Player award were not counted.
The Egyptian did not finish in the top three of the ballot, with his nominations from Egypt’s captain and manager not included.
Salah appeared to be angry when FIFA released the full list of voting without his country’s selections.
He removed a reference to Egypt from his Twitter bio and posted a message that read: “Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.”
However, FIFA moved to clarify why those particular votes for Salah were not included 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 said the President’s Office of the EFA, which has undergone structural changes, was contacted about the issue, with no response received in time for their votes to count.
Some other questions have been asked of FIFA about the voting process for The Best player awards.
Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera said on Twitter he did not vote although his name is listed on FIFA’s document, which says he chose 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 Mohamed Salah, Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe claimed the women’s award, while Salah’s Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and Rapinoe’s international coach Jill Ellis took the trophies for best coach.