FIFA Coach of the Year row

Pandev accuses FIFA of changing vote

March 21, 2013
By ESPN staff

Napoli striker Goran Pandev has insisted his vote for FIFA Coach of the Year was changed - backing Jose Mourinho's claim that something untoward had happened.

Goran Pandev with Jose Mourinho in 2010
GettyImagesGoran Pandev with Jose Mourinho in 2010

On Wednesday, Mourinho told Portuguese TV station RTP that he believes the vote was fixed to ensure that Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque won the 2012 Coach of the Year award and that was the reason he did not attend January's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

"One, two or three people called me to tell me they had voted for me, but another person's name had appeared in their votes. I am accusing FIFA of irregularities in the choice of the best coach in the world," Mourinho said. "There was a lack of transparency. FIFA knows about these irregularities, it knows they existed, and it did not avoid them."

Now Pandev, who was signed by Mourinho when he was in charge at Inter Milan, has revealed his vote was changed to Del Bosque.

"I voted for Mourinho as best Coach of the year and I am convinced that strange things happened when the votes were counted," he told La Sexta. "According to the FIFA list I voted for Vicente Del Bosque, but I voted for Mourinho. I even called him and said I'd vote for him. Unfortunately, odd things happen at FIFA."

However, FIFA has released a statement which reads: "FIFA confirms that the list of votes published on FIFA.com is accurate."

Del Bosque won the award with 34.51% of the votes ahead of 20.49% for Mourinho and 12.91% for Pep Guardiola.