ZIFA technical director Nelson Matongorere says he did not vote in the FIFA Ballon d’Or award after his name appeared as Zimbabwe captain.
The award for the best player in the world for 2012 was won by Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi for a record fourth consecutive time. Real Madrid’s Christiano Ronaldo was second and Messi’s Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta third.
The Ballon d'Or is voted for by journalists, and national coaches and captains.
But according to FIFA’s official voting list, Matongorere voted as Zimbabwe captain and chose Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Gerard Pique of Barcelona and Messi in that order.
Former Zimbabwe coach Rahman Gumbo had Iniesta, Messi and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie while journalist Charles Mabika voted for Ronaldo, Messi and Real Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
But Matongorere says FIFA must have made a mistake.
He said: “There could have been a mistake there (at FIFA) because there was no way I could have signed the captain’s form. I have my own place where I sign as technical director and I can also sign in place of the general-secretary if he is not available.
“I am a professional and I cannot do that.”
The voting took place before the senior national team was disbanded following their failure to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals which start in South Africa next Saturday.
This means either regular captain Tapuwa Kapini or his deputy Esrom Nyandoro should have been entitled to vote.
Matongorere reportedly voted for former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola for the coach of the year award, with Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson in second and third.
Gumbo voted for eventual winner Vicente del Bosque of Spain, Guardiola and Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp while Mabika opted for Champions League winner with Chelsea Roberto di Matteo, del Bosque and Mourinho.
Messi becomes the first player to win four consecutive Ballons d'Or, breaking the record he jointly held with former France international, and current Uefa president, Michel Platini.
"To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable," said the Argentine. "The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.
"I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona. Andres, it has been great to train and play alongside you.
"I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentina national team, everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you."
Messi - who polled 41.6% of the votes, with Ronaldo taking 23.68% and Iniesta 10.91% - was favourite to win after surpassing Germany striker Gerd Mueller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year from 1972.
He netted 79 goals for Barcelona, plus another 12 for Argentina, in 69 games for club and country.