Players from the 12 clubs setting up their own Super League are in danger of being ban from the UEFA Euro 2020 and next year’s World Cup “as soon as possible”, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin warns. The proposed breakaway has been heavily criticized by European, domestic and world football governing bodies, fan organizations and politicians across Europe.
“They will not be able to represent their national teams at any (Euro 2020 football) matches,” Ceferin warned, speaking a UEFA executive committee meeting. “UEFA and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful self-serving proposal we have seen in last 24 hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fueled purely by greed above all else.”
Earlier this week, Europe’s leading football clubs have agreed to establish the European Super League, with AC Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have been announced as the “founding clubs” despite widespread criticism.
Notably, three of the 12 clubs involved in the breakaway league — Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid — are scheduled to play in the Champions League semifinals next week. Two more, Manchester United and Arsenal, are in the Europa League semifinals. Whether UEFA’s lawyers will proceed with legal actions or halting their semifinal games next week remains unclear.
According to the format of the new league, 20 participating clubs with 15 founding clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season. Currently, teams have to qualify each year for the Champions League through their domestic leagues, but the Super League would lock in 15 places every season for the founding members.
UEFA earlier warned the Super League clubs that legal action would be taken against them and their participation in their existing domestic competitions like the Spanish league and the Premier League will be in jeopardy. UEFA received backing from the English Football Association President Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
FIFA, the world’s governing body for soccer, also expressed disapproval of the Super League. “FIFA can only express its disapproval to a ‘closed European breakaway league’ outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles,” FIFA wrote in a statement. The Super League clubs, however, insists that the new competition will not replace existing competitions.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, the founding chairman of the Super League, has earlier claim that UEFA’s threat to ban players will not happen. “It’s not going to happen. We won’t get into the legal aspects of it, but it won’t happen. It’s impossible,” Perez said in an interview. Perez believed that the new competition aim “to save all the clubs. Otherwise, soccer will die.”
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