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The publication of the votes put off the Germany coach, who did not want to single out one of his five players who have been nominated

Germany coach Joachim Low has refused the chance to vote in the Ballon d'Or this year, the German football association (DFB) has revealed.

Five of his players are up for the annual Fifa award: Bayern Munich stars Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller, and Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil.

But because all individual votes are released to the public after the award ceremony, the Mannschaft boss has decided to avoid causing potential disharmony by revealing who he considers to be the best.

"He is not able to vote in an impartial manner and therefore has decided to abstain," DFB spokesman Jens Gritter told Sport Bild.

"On the one hand, it is an honour for German football to have five candidates among the [23-man] shortlist. But as Fifa publishes the votes, that is something which puts the coach in a predicament."

Voters get the chance to pick their first, second and third-ranked choice for the award, meaning at least two Germans would have missed out if Low had chosen to take part in the process this year.

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