Fifa denies foul play over Messi's Best Player Award
London - Meanwhile, Egypt's votes for Mohamed Salah for the world's best player award were rejected by Fifa because they were signed in capital letters
Fifa has denied claims that their World Player of the Year vote was rigged to make sure Lionel Messi won the award. Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera called for an investigation into the integrity of the vote after he insisted that he did not vote for Messi, according to a report in www.metro.co.uk.
Fifa looked into Barrera's allegations and released a statement to ESPN, which read: "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.
"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."
Meanwhile, Egypt's votes for national icon Mohamed Salah for the world's best player award were rejected by Fifa because they were signed in capital letters and deemed invalid, the governing body said on Friday.
Cairo had demanded an explanation after the results of voting for the Fifa Player of the Year were announced on Monday but Egypt's support for Salah was ignored.
The Liverpool star placed fourth, 20 votes behind winner Messi.
The results are based on the votes of national coaches, team captains and members of the press in selecting their top players of the year.
According to Fifa the "signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid (not authentic)" and "the voting forms were also not signed by the General Secretary which is mandatory."
They added they had sent two reminders to the Egyptian FA to send correct forms, but they had failed to do so by the deadline of August 21.
Salah hinted at his disappointment on social media, changing his Twitter bio to say he only plays for Liverpool and removing any mention of his affiliation to Egypt.
Salah posted a conciliatory tweet later saying "no matter how much they try to change my love for you and your people", referring to Egypt, "they won't be able to".
The only Egyptian vote for the award was made by journalist Hany Danial, who selected Senegal's Sadio Mane as his player of the year.