FIFA president opposes Super League plans. Gianni Infantino says that the global governing body “strongly disapproves” of plans for a breakaway European Super League (ESL).
The world of football has trembled at the news of twelve European clubs breaking away to form a Super League. This league may aim to replace UEFA’s Champions League at a global event.
Now, news arrive that the FIFA President opposes Super League plans. Infantino has warned that participating clubs “must live with the consequences of their choice”.
FIFA president Infantino told the UEFA Congress today, on Tuesday, that his organisation is opposed to ESL.
He said: “We can only strongly disapprove the creation of the Super League, a Super League which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA.
“There is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some. They need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility,” he observed. Indeed, ESL may just be a way for club owners to fill their pockets more.
“If some elect to go their own way, then they must live with the consequences of their choice. They are responsible for their choice,” he warned. “Concretely, this means either you’re in or you’re out. You cannot be half in or half out.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who has strongly criticised the Super League plan, reacted to Infantino’s words.
Ceferin thanked the FIFA president for his support: “You showed that you care about the values of football. And if we stand together, we are unbeatable.”
Though UEFA and FIFA are both institutions not above corrupt and money-hungry practices themselves, they make one valid point. The new ESL may privilege only the clubs currently on top, and not smaller ones struggling to come up.
By eliminating relegation for the 15 Founding Clubs, they essentially uphold their prestige without proving it with merit. All 15 Founders are likely to be giants (on the pitch and also monetarily) of the football world and their respective nations.
Ceferin instead pointed out that success and club size can change over time.
He said: “Where were Manchester United in the decade before Sir Alex Ferguson arrived on the scene? And where were Juventus 15 years ago?”