‘Cham­pi­ons League changes a scan­dal’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

CAPE TOWN — Pres­i­dent of the Pre­miere Ligue union Bernard Ca­iazzo has la­belled Uefa’s changes to the Cham­pi­ons League for­mat as a scan­dal and a scam.

From the 2018/19 sea­son, Europe’s top four leagues will all get four guar­an­teed places in the Cham­pi­ons League group stage ac­cord­ing to Uefa’s new qual­i­fi­ca­tion rules.

Ca­iazzo’s union rep­re­sents Ligue 1 teams and while Eng­land, Ger­many, Italy and Spain will have ex­tra teams com­pet­ing in the pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion, the French top-flight, which is cur­rently ranked joint-fifth best league in Uefa’s coun­try co­ef­fi­cient ta­ble, will have to make do with just two teams en­joy­ing au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Ca­iazzo feels the top leagues will now have an un­fair ad­van­tage.

He told L’Equipe: “In the way it was done, it’s a scan­dal.

“There’s cur­rently a power vac­uum at Uefa and the ECA (Euro­pean Club As­so­ci­a­tion) and it’s been taken ad­van­tage of to im­pose this re­form with the help of Uefa ap­pa­ratchiks.

“In France, no­body was aware of it. Why did [Lyon pres­i­dent] Jean-Michel Au­las, who’s part of the ex­ec­u­tive of­fice of the ECA, not fore­warn any­one in the league? It feels like a scam.

“It’s the first step to­wards a closed Euro­pean league — a way of al­low­ing rich clubs to earn even more money.” Cur­rently, the third-placed French club has to play two qual­i­fy­ing rounds and could po­ten­tially face a club from a top-four league in the fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing round. The new rules will, how­ever, see only one qual­i­fy­ing round which has the back­ing of Au­las and Bordeaux pres­i­dent Jean-Louis Tri­aud who both feel the new rules will ben­e­fit French foot­ball in mak­ing it eas­ier for the third team to qual­ify for the tour­na­ment proper. — Sport24.

Bernard Ca­iazzo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.