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FIFA dismisses Ballon d´Or ´leak´

FIFA has dismissed reports it accidentally published the winners of the 2015 Ballon d’Or early.

A story emerged on Wednesday claiming Lionel Messi and Celia Sasic had been inadvertently revealed as the recipients of the men’s and women’s awards, which are due to be handed out on Monday.

However, a screenshot used in the article could be traced back to the website of European Sports Media (ESM), where an apology read: “Due to a technical problem at transmission, Lionel Messi and Celia Sasic were listed as FIFA Ballon d’Or winners 2015.

“Actually, they won the awards UEFA Best Player in Europe 2015 resp. UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe 2015. We apologize for this mistake.”

And FIFA has now released its own short statement addressing the issue.

“This afternoon, a story 1st posted online in November (false then too) has resurfaced,” read a tweet from FIFA Media. “The winners of the #BallondOr have NOT been leaked.

“November’s story (also falsely attributed to FIFA’s website) was taken from ESM’s website.”

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