UEFA will exclude clubs participating in a private “Super League”, reaffirmed this Sunday the body that directs European football, in reaction to new speculation about this hypothetical closed tournament that would enter into rivalry with the Champions League, whose reform should be made official on Monday.
“Some English, Spanish and Italian clubs could envisage announcing the creation of a so-called closed Super League,” UEFA wrote in a statement, calling the project “cynical.”
“As previously announced by FIFA, the clubs concerned would be banned from participating in any other competition at national, European or world level, and their players could be denied the possibility of representing their national teams.”
UEFA and FIFA were already firm in January on a similar rumor.
The exclusion with which they threaten would have very important consequences, since the clubs that would theoretically participate in that closed Super League are full of international stars, for whom being deprived of their national teams would be a serious blow.
It remains to be seen whether such a measure would be in line with European competition law, which heralds a legal battle if the dispute actually arises.
UEFA’s statement this Sunday comes when the organization plans to meet with its Executive Committee on Monday (from 07:00 GMT) to approve a profound reform of its Champions League, with which it intends to nip the possibility of that Super League in the bud.
Several media published this Sunday the possible officialization of a Superliga project, an issue that periodically arises and disappears in European football for a long time and is often used by the big clubs in their pulses with UEFA on various reasons.
According to the New York Times, giants such as Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Juventus and Milan are concerned by the project and at least twelve teams in total have “signed up to be founding members or have expressed their interest”.
– Bayern and PSG, loyal to UEFA? –
UEFA thanked the rest of the clubs, “in particular the French and German clubs, who have refused to engage in this way.”
That suggests that, for example, greats like Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, protagonists of the final of the last Champions League, remain loyal to UEFA.
According to a source close to the matter, both Bayern and PSG were contacted to join that ‘Super League’, which would have Manchester United, Juventus, Barça and Real Madrid as the main drivers.
“We ask all football lovers, fans and political leaders to join us in fighting such a project if it is finally announced,” insisted UEFA, who said it was ready to use “all means available, to all levels, judicial and sports “against that Super League.
Faced with the revolution that this closed Super League would entail, UEFA advocates a reform of the Champions League, which would be approved on Monday for the stage that would begin in 2024.
The current group stage would be replaced by a mini-championship with 36 teams, aimed at guaranteeing more games and, therefore, more income from television rights.
This Sunday, several important names joined the voices against a possible Super League, from the patron of the German league (Christian Seifert) to the Spanish (Javier Tebas), through the English Football Federation or the powerful Premier League.
There were also important political reactions.
The French government told AFP that the Superliga project “threatens the principle of solidarity and sporting merit”, while the French Sports Minister, Roxana Maracineanu, denounced what would be “a VIP club of several powerful people.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be a “very damaging for football” project.
“It would strike our national football to the heart and arouse the concern of fans in the country,” he wrote on Twitter.
On the part of the fans, the Football Supporters Europe (FSE) network said it was “completely against a project aimed at creating a secessionist Super League”, believing that such a project would be “the last nail in the coffin of European football” by dynamiting its historical foundations, mainly the reference to sporting merit to access continental competitions.