Conte and Buffon boycott Ballon d’Or in protest at goalkeeper snub

Antonio Conte and Gianluigi Buffon abstained from voting in the 2015 Ballon d’Or 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 criticising Fifa’s snub to the veteran goalkeeper.

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

Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Paolo Condo did cast his ballot for the prize, choosing Messi, Neymar and Robert Lewandowski.

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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