Former Inter Milan striker says he tried to vote for his former boss.
Macedonia captain Goran Pandev has corroborated Jose Mourinho’s claim that votes for FIFA’s World Coach of the Year award were tampered with.
Mourinho, who finished second to Spain’s Vicente del Bosque in a vote carried out by international players, managers and journalists, refused to attend the gala in Zurich after claiming ‘irregularities’ in FIFA’s vote.
“One, two or three people phoned me to tell me that they had voted for me and later, when the list of votes was published, another name appeared by their votes. That was why I decided not to go to the gala,” the Real Madrid boss is quoted as saying by the Guardian.
“I’m accusing FIFA of irregularities in the vote for best manager in the world,” he added.
Napoli striker Pandev says he was one of the players who phoned the 50-year-old ex-Inter Milan boss to inform him that his vote had been altered.
“I voted for Mourinho, always Mourinho, but something very weird happened,” Pandev, 29, told LaSexta.
“I called Mourinho and told him I didn’t know what happened.”
According to FIFA, Pandev voted for Del Bosque, Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini and Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund in first, second and third places respectively.
During Pandev’s second spell at Inter Milan, he played under Mourinho, claiming a host of awards including the Serie A title, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Mourinho guided Real to their first La Liga title since 2008 last season, with the team racking up 100 points and finishing nine points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola finished third in the vote, despite only winning the Copa del Rey in 2012.