THIS year's Ballon d'Or judges have been accused of racism after Sadio Mane finished fourth in the 2019 vote.

The Liverpool forward, 27, enjoyed a stellar year, topped by lifting the Champions League in June.

But Lionel Messi came out on top with 686 points, just seven more than Mane's Reds team-mate Virgil van Dijk, to win his sixth Ballon d'Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo came third on 476 points while Mane received 347, 169 more than fellow forward Mohamed Salah.

But former Newcastle and Aston Villa right-back Habib Beye furiously hit out at the judges for what he described as "a scandal, pure and simple" as Mane finished fourth, saying that he didn't finish higher because he is African.

Former Senegal international Beye blasted to Canal+: “Could you say that Messi is one of the greatest players in the history of football? Yes.