The Malta Independent 20 June 2018, Wednesday

Conte, Buffon boycott Golden Ball vote after goalkeeper not named in top 50

Tuesday, 12 January 2016, 10:05 Last update: about 3 years ago

Italy coach and captain Antonio Conte and Gianluigi Buffon abstained from voting in the 2015 Golden Ball award, apparently in protest at the Juventus star's exclusion from the shortlist.

The absence of Buffon, who helped his side win the Serie A and Coppa Italia double and reach the Champions League final, was one of the big talking points when the original 50-man list was released.

And when the details of each national team captain and coach's vote was released after Lionel Messi was crowned as the winner of the award, it was noted that the pair had declined to use their vote.

Reports from 
Sky claim that the boycott was deliberate and was the duo's way of criticizing FIFA's snub to the veteran goalkeeper. 

The measure was apparently on the orders of the Italian FA, incensed that their captain was overlooked. 

Curiously, Buffon was one of three goalkeeping captains who failed to have their say in the competition.

Iker Casillas, according to
 COPE, was unable to vote after the Spanish Football Federation failed to send the Porto man the necessary documentation in time to participate. 

Chile's Claudio Bravo also abstained, although the reasons for the Barcelona shot-stopper's absence remain unknown.

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