The FIFA Ballon d’Or explained
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Awarded to the best player in the world each year, the FIFA Ballon d’Or throws up its fair share of questions, such as who gets to vote and who draws up the shortlists? Ahead of next Monday’s glittering Gala in Zurich, FIFA.com addresses those questions and explains how the evening’s other awards are decided on. 

Who draws up the final 23-player shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and the shortlists for the other World Player/Coach of the Year awards?
The shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, which is usually announced in October, is drawn up by the members of FIFA’s Football Committee and a panel of experts from France Football. The shortlist of ten candidates for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year is compiled by FIFA's Committee for Women's Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup and a group of experts from France Football. The same people also draw up the two shortlists of ten contenders each for the FIFA men’s and women’s football coaches of the year awards. Additionally, the ten goals shortlisted for the FIFA Puskás Award are selected by a panel of experts from the Football Committee. 

So who gets to vote for these awards? 
Voting for the four players and coaches awards is open to national team coaches, national team captains and journalists around the world, who are named on a list compiled by France Football and FIFA. The votes, which all count equally towards the final result in each category, are totted up by an electronic system monitored by a notary public. 

What is the deadline for voting? 
Coaches, captains and specialist journalists are informed of the deadline when they are invited to vote. The original deadline for the 2013 vote was 15 November, which FIFA and France Football decided to extend by two weeks to 29 November on account of an insufficient number of votes having been received.

What steps are taken to protect the integrity of the voting results and compliance with the rules of allocation?
FIFA and France Football have appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as independent observers to supervise and monitor the award procedures. PwC records the results and keeps them under lock and key until the evening of the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. 

How does voting for the FIFA Puskás Award work? 
The winner of the FIFA Puskás Award is selected by the users of FIFA.com and Francefootball.fr, who choose their favourite goal from an initial shortlist of ten contenders before the first deadline (on this occasion 9 December 2013). The three goals receiving the most votes then go forward to the final round, when the votes cast by the users of both sites are added to those obtained by each goal in the first round to decide the overall winner. 

And how is the FIFA FIFpro World XI selected?
Every FIFPro-affiliated player, the numbers of which are approximately 52,000, is free to vote for any active professional player in the world to make up their ideal XI in a 4-3-3 formation. FIFpro then counts the votes, with the FIFA FIFpro World XI finally being revealed on the day of the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala. 

How are the FIFA Presidential and Fair Play awards chosen? 

The winner of the FIFA Presidential Award is decided on by the President of world football’s governing body himself, while the recipient of the FIFA Fair Play award is selected from a list of candidates from the various confederations and proposed by the Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility.