UEFA holds crisis meeting after breakaway Super League launched

A file photo of FIFA president Gianni Infantino (L) showing a red card to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin during a FIFA Football Legends football game in Zurich.   | Photo Credit: AFP

European soccer’s governing body UEFA held a crisis meeting on Monday, hours after 12 of the continent’s leading clubs shocked the football world by announcing the formation of a breakaway Super League.

The U.S. investment bank JP Morgan confirmed to Reuters that it is financing the new league and is a rival to UEFA’s Champions League.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham from England, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid from Spain and Italy’s Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan form the breakaway group.

The bitter battle entered a new phase with a letter sent by the 12 clubs to UEFA on Monday in which they said they would take legal steps to protect their interests.

The breakaway clubs will be guaranteed annual places in the competition — in contrast to the current UEFA Champions League, which requires teams to qualify via their domestic leagues.

New format

Meanwhile, UEFA on Monday confirmed that a new format for the Champions League will be introduced from 2024 with the number of clubs in the group stage increasing from 32 to 36 and all clubs brought together into one pool instead of the current system of four-team groups. This was approved at an executive committee meeting in Switzerland.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin reiterated that clubs and players involved in the proposed breakaway league could be banned “as soon as possible” from all of its competitions and the World Cup.

The Super League letter meanwhile also urged FIFA and UEFA to agree to talks and said it wanted the breakaway league to exist alongside current European club competitions.

Top clubs missing

Qatari-owned Paris St Germain and European champion Bayern Munich, which is majority-owned by the fans, have not signed up to the plans, meaning that France and Germany are not represented in the Super League as things stand.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 5:05:48 AM |

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