Football fans react as FIFA responds to absence of Ronaldo and Messi at Best Awards with legal means
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is reportedly furious that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi refused to attend this year's The Best awards gala in London.
The Royal Festival Hall ceremony saw the world's biggest footballers coming together to celebrate the Best in the game.
The night saw several surprises such as Mo Salah's Puskas award win for the best goal, which left several fans bewildered.
What caught the most attention from fans, however, was the notable absence of two of football's greatest players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Messi had initially accepted the invitation but according to Mundo Deportivo, the Argentine was unable to fly to the capital for the ceremony due to personal reasons.
Ronaldo's absence, on the other hand, was due to the fact that Juventus played a game on Sunday night, and have a Serie A game on Wednesday against Bologna, Spanish publication Marca reported.
It may be recalled that Ronaldo also missed the UEFA Best Player awards which were held in August, where ex-Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric was deemed as the Best European Footballer of the Year 2018.
While Ronaldo was in the three-man shortlist for Player of the Year, both the Ballon d'Or winners were named in the FIFPro World XI.
The absence of the two greatest footballers of the century served as a big blow to the football governing body. A representative of FIFA at the gala reportedly said, "They discredit football, and they do not even realize it."
Infantino is reportedly furious with the duo and according to Spanish newspaper AS, the FIFA chief has instructed his lawyers on ways that the body can legally obligate all finalists to attend the event.
The reports have been making the rounds in the football world and fans have since taken to social media to address them: