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UEFA reaffirmed on Sunday its desire to exclude clubs which would participate in a private “Superleague”, in reaction to the possible formalization of this lucrative closed tournament, rival of the Champions League, the reform of which must be acted on Monday.
A titanic battle is looming around the nest egg that high-level European football represents. Faced with the prospect of a lucrative closed tournament between some of the wealthiest clubs, UEFA showed its teeth on Sunday April 18 by threatening to exclude these dissidents from its own Champions League.
“Some English, Spanish and Italian clubs could plan to announce the creation of a so-called + Superleague + closed,” UEFA wrote in a statement co-signed by several national football federations and leagues, calling the project “cynical “.
“As previously announced by Fifa (…), the clubs concerned will be prohibited from participating in any other competition at national, European or world level, and their players could be refused the opportunity to represent their national teams.”
A threat with serious consequences
Already brandished in January by UEFA and Fifa in the face of a similar rumor, the threat of exclusion of dissident clubs would have serious consequences, since it would result in depriving the players concerned of any career in selection, even though the formations anticipated for a “Superleague” are full of internationals.
It remains to be seen whether it complies with European competition law, which suggests a possible legal battle.
This threat comes as UEFA meets on Monday its Executive Committee (09h00 / 07h00 GMT) to endorse a reform of its Champions League supposed to cut the rug from under the feet of the supporters of a private Superleague.
Several media reported on Sunday the possible formalization of such a project, a real sea serpent in European football often agitated by the big clubs to obtain more concessions from UEFA.
PSG not involved in this “Superleague”
According to the New York Times, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in Spain, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in England, Juventus and AC Milan in Italy are affected by the project, and at least 12 teams in total. have “signed up to be founding members or expressed their interest”.
UEFA has also said to thank the clubs from other countries, “in particular the French and German clubs, which refused to embark on this path”.
“We call on all football fans, supporters and politicians to join us in fighting such a project if it were to be announced”, adds the European body, saying it is ready to use “all the means in its possession , at all levels, judicial as well as sports “, to prevent this.
Symbol of the importance of the file, the Elysée wanted to speak on the subject: “The President of the Republic welcomes the position of the French clubs to refuse to participate in a project of European Superleague of football threatening the principle of solidarity and sporting merit. The French State will support all the steps taken by the LFP, the FFF, UEFA, and FIFA to protect the integrity of federal competitions, whether national or European “, wrote the Elysée in a press release sent to AFP.