UEFA can­di­date hits out at Euro deal

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

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.

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