France Football will be launching a Women’s Ballon d’Or this year thus making it the first instance when the coveted award is open to female footballers as well. The award will be presented in France Football’s awards ceremony held on December 3 in Paris.
The Women’s Ballon d’Or gets launched more than 6 decades after the first Men’s Ballon d’Or was awarded. France Football’s editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre said, “Women’s soccer is a booming discipline that deserves the same respect as men’s soccer. It’s coming to maturity and growing bigger. More than 760m TV viewers watched games at the last women’s World Cup in 2015. This did not happen by chance.”
France Football will nominate 15 footballers on October 8. Then, a jury will vote the best female footballer of 2018. The jury will be different to the one that will vote the best male footballer.
Ferre added, “The jury won’t be the same as the jury voting for the men. Only experts can vote. I’m confident we will get a jury of about 40 journalists, from countries where women’s soccer is growing.”
Ferre also said that he spoke to several female footballers about this and they are thrilled. He said, “They are thrilled and can’t wait for it. They are very proud to see that the world of soccer considers that women should be treated in the same respect as men.”
France Football will also launch an award for the best young player of the year. The award will be named in the memory of France footballing legend Raymond Kopa who died last March. Kopa was the first French recipient of the Ballon d’Or. For this award, there will be a shortlist of 10 U21 players before a panel consisting of past Ballon d’Or recipients votes the winner.