UEFA candidate hits out at Euro deal
The favourite to become UEFA president has criticised the secret deal – accelerated ahead of today’s election – guaranteeing four Champions League groupstage places for Europe’s top four leagues. In an interview with The Associated Press, Aleksander Ceferin (right) expressed frustration UEFA caved into the demands of powerful clubs from Spain, Germany, England and Italy. Those countries are guaranteed 16 Champions League places from 2018-21, rather than 11 currently – squeezing teams from lowerranked leagues like Ceferin’s Slovenia. “The problem is we didn’t know anything that was going on — that shouldn’t happen again,” Ceferin said in Athens yesterday. “It’s not frustrating just for me; it’s frustrating for all 55 national associations. The process was not OK because it was not communicated well. Nobody knew what is going on. There was a group who decided, and the lack of communication is the main problem why clubs and national associations are mad.” Ceferin, who is seeking to complete the presidential term of the banned Michel Platini until 2019, also warned that “any Super League is out of the question”. The contest is down to between Ceferin and 68-year-old UEFA vice president Michael van Praag of the Netherlands.