Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

UEFA’s Ceferin pledges to protect Champions League

UEFA’s Ceferin pledges to protect Champions League

Europe's biggest clubs would have lost their status "in the hearts of the people" if they had gone ahead with plans for a Super League, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said Thursday.

"It is a great honour and together with President Andrea Agnelli we will continue to work closely with UEFA to develop professional football in the interests of all stakeholders".

Luis Rubiales has been elected to the UEFA Executive Committee with 47 votes out of a possible 55, and the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) can feel the overwhelming support of European football.

The 51-year-old Slovenian lawyer - who saw off the Dutchman Michael van Praag in 2016 - is the only candidate this time in the election for the UEFA president, which will take place at the organisation's Congress in Rome.

"By telling FIFA that we disagree with their current proposals on the global Nations League and Club World Cup, we show them respect and we show respect to football, the game we love and the game we must protect".

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The European governing body has been very wary of a breakaway, money-spinning league that would involve the continent's elite clubs and undermine its own flagship club competition, the Champions League.

"I don't know what competitions there will be in two years, four years, ten years but we didn't get any more information that we had in Bogota in March", Ceferin told reporters after UEFA's annual Congress.

The Frenchman is still suspended until October this year when he will complete a four-year ban from all football-related activities following the corruption scandal that also brought down then-FIFA chief Sepp Blatter.

"Limited terms of office, the publication of salaries, the creation of a Compensation Committee and the inclusion of independent members in a reinforced Governance and Compliance Committee are just a few of the common-sense reforms we have introduced", he said.

The two-day UEFA gathering in Rome has been a rare meeting of Ceferin and Infantino ahead of a FIFA Council session next month in Miami, where FIFA's hope of approving the new competitions deal seems unlikely. "We will be doing more in this area because there remain weaknesses in our system".

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