Salah, an icon in the North African country, removed any reference to Egypt from his Twitter profile [File: Eddie Keogh/Reuters]

Football’s world governing body FIFA has said two votes from Egypt for national star Mohamed Salah did not count in its Men’s Player of the Year ballot because they were in capital letters. 

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won the award for a record sixth time on Monday, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool forward Salah finished fourth – 20 points behind Messi. 

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) questioned why ballot papers on behalf of its national team coach and captain were not included in a FIFA document published after Monday’s ceremony.

In a statement on Thursday, FIFA said the signatures

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