Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on the prestigious Ballon d’Or award this week, with former Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric taking the prize instead.
It was the first time since 2007, when AC Milan hero Kaka claimed the award, that Ronaldo or Messi did not take the golden ball home.
However, the Ballon d’Or has now been hit by a scandal with reports claiming that one of the journalists registered to vote does not actually exist.
Spanish outlet Ok Diario have claimed that an irregularity has been found within the voting.
They cite local publication named Al-watman as saying that a journalist from the small island of Comoros, located north of Madagascar, does not exist.
The journalist in question is Abdou Boina.
But where he supposedly works is no longer in operation.
A journalist from the island, Toiminou Abdou, is quoted as saying that Boina’s publication, albaladcomores.com, closed in 2012.
“I hallucinate when I see that Albalad Comores exists,” he said.
“That newspaper closed six years ago and there was never a journalist named Abdou Boina.
“We had two sports reporters in this case, Abdoul Youssouf for the French edition and Sharif Ousseine for the Arabic edition.”
Stepahne Ahamadi, the president of Comoras’ journalists association, has also spoken about the problem.
“There is no record of anyone called Abdou Boina,” he said.
“I could understand it as a mistake from France Football if the journalist belonged to a certain publication, but this person doesn’t exist.”
It is not the only Ballon d’Or controversy to plague the ceremony.
Trinidad and Tobago’s correspondent, Lasana Liburdi, claimed his selections were registered in the wrong order.
What happens next, though, remains to be seen.