UEFA president pleads for about-face

Soccer: - 20-04-21

(Montreux, Switzerland) In a direct appeal to the owners of the English clubs associated with the Super League project, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin urged them to change their mind out of respect for soccer fans.

Ceferin both cajoled and criticized England's six-club group - made up of American billionaires, the Arab monarchy and a Russian oligarch - less than 48 hours after the Super League launched in alliance with three Italian and Spanish clubs.

"Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake," Ceferin said in a speech to European football leaders at the UEFA annual meeting. Some will say it is greed, others (will say) arrogance, flippancy or total ignorance of English football culture. It doesn't matter.

“What matters is that there is still time to change your mind. Everybody makes mistakes. "


Ceferin urged them to back off out of respect for fans in England, again targeting what he earlier referred to as "a few selfish people."

“Come to your senses,” he added. Not out of love for football because I imagine that for some of you it is not the priority. "

The UEFA president quoted an email he received from a supporter of Tottenham, one of the six rebel clubs in the Premier League.

"If you read the email you would be about to cry," Ceferin noted of the fancier he only identified as Trevor, who he had given two tickets to the 2019 Champions League final to. , when Tottenham lost to Liverpool.

Ceferin claimed fans and governments have come to support UEFA in resisting the 20-team Super League proposal, which threatens to directly challenge the Champions League and damage football's historic pyramid structure. European.

“We cannot lose this match,” said Ceferin, a Slovenian lawyer.

The clubs have not announced when their league, backed by US bank JP Morgan Chase, will launch operations.

On Monday, Ceferin mentioned that he wanted Super League clubs and their players to be banned from all UEFA competitions "as soon as possible".

It's unclear whether UEFA's legal statutes and Champions League regulations will allow this before Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City play in the semi-finals next week. Manchester United and Arsenal will also play in the Europa League semi-finals next week.

Earlier on Tuesday, in a speech that appeared to blame club owners and absolve players, FIFA President Gianni Infantino revealed he could only "strongly disapprove" of the Super League.

“If some choose to go their own way, they have to live with the consequences of their choice,” said Infantino. They are responsible for their choice. "

They said

“Any proposal without the support of UEFA […] does not solve the problems” of football. - Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the president of Paris SG, who did not follow the 12 founding dissidents of the Super League, a private competition competing with the Champions League.

“Sport is not sport when there is no relationship between effort and reward. It is not sport if success is guaranteed or if losing does not matter. - Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola

“I have my opinion, but I'm not going to give it to you. Then you are going to say "Zidane never gets wet, he never says anything". Why ? Because what drives me is my work, what I do on a daily basis. Me, Cadiz. - Real Madrid coach Zinédine Zidane on the eve of the game in Cadiz.

The six English clubs involved in the project of a dissident European Super League “smear the reputation” of the Premier League, the Everton club said on Tuesday, while the 14 abandoned clubs must meet during the day.

“Clubs and their youth teams should be excluded from all competitions, until they think again of their many supporters, who have made them giants of world football, and not just their doorstep. change. - The President of the German Soccer Federation Fritz Keller.