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Ballon d’Or: England’s Georgia Stanway says awards ceremony clash is ‘unfortunate’

Alexia Putellas with the Ballon d'Or
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas has won the last two Ballon d’Or Feminin awards

England’s Georgia Stanway says it is “unfortunate” that female players nominated for the Ballon d’Or will be unable to attend the awards ceremony as they are on international duty.

The show takes place on Monday, live on the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport app, website and via the Red Button from 19:45 GMT.

Stanway is among four Lionesses nominated after they reached the Women’s World Cup final in 2023.

However, England have an important game against Belgium on Tuesday.

Sarina Wiegman’s side are in Leuven, preparing for the Women’s Nations League fixture, which is one of 24 European matches taking place.

“Obviously it’s nice to get the accolade, as well as a lot of my team-mates who have been nominated as well. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t be there,” said Stanway.

“We spoke about it as a group and said it would be nice in the future if the ceremony wasn’t on a matchday minus one day so we can all enjoy the experience.

“[It is frustrating] because it’s a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You never know if you’ll get selected for such an accolade like that again. It would be nice to enjoy the experience and be there.

“You want to feel like a star among the stars. We’ve got a game tomorrow, but if it was planned a little better then it would be easier for a lot of female footballers to be there.”

Among the countries in action on Tuesday are world champions Spain, who have several players nominated, including Barcelona favourite Aitana Bonmati.

This is only the fifth edition of the Ballon d’Or Feminin, with Spain and Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas winning the past two.

“It would be nice for [female players to go] because everyone is working so hard,” added England manager Wiegman.

“Of course we have to do a job and that’s what we’re here for so they can’t attend. It would be really nice if things like that are organised so players could have the opportunity to go too.”

BBC News

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