UEFA Reiterates Opposition to Super League in Meeting with ESL Backer A22 Sports

On Tuesday, UEFA met with A22 Sports, the company backing a proposed European Super League (ESL), in Nyon and once again dismissed the idea of a breakaway league, Europe’s soccer governing body said.

The meeting included UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and officials from Europe’s top leagues as they met with A22 Sports’ new CEO Bernd Reichart and its founders Anas Laghrari and John Hahn. Nasser Al-Khelaifi, European Club Association (ECA) Chairman and Paris St Germain President, also attended the meeting along with the CEOs of a few other clubs and representatives from supporters’ associations.

“In line with the unity of European football, UEFA and the participating football stakeholders once again unanimously rejected the rationale underpinning projects such as ESL during today’s discussion,” UEFA said in a statement.

“The participants took note, with surprise, the claims of A22 Sports CEO that this company is not representing any clubs in any capacity, including the three clubs who continue to openly support the project.”

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus were among 12 clubs to announce a breakaway Super League in April last year but, after a hostile response from across the game including fans and governments alike, the move promptly collapsed. All six English clubs — Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur — -plus Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Atletico Madrid pulled out from the project.

Real, Barca and Juve have continued to push the idea, however, and after a Madrid court prevented UEFA from punishing the breakaway clubs the case has alluded to the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice. Furthermore, UEFA said that English clubs did not participate in Tuesday’s meeting as they were planning to attend a Premier League shareholders meeting.

Reichart, the ex-CEO of media company RTL Deutschland, was appointed as the new CEO of A22 Sports Management last month and had said that European soccer clubs were lagging in terms of their opportunities.

While the original idea for the Super League recommended it would be a closed league of rich clubs, Reichart said there would be promotion and relegation.

By Archana

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