The Asian Age

FIFA vows ‘consequenc­es’ for Super League clubs

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Montreux (Switzer-land), April 20: FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Tuesday warned that clubs involved in the European Super League could face “consequenc­es”, as the backlash built against the deeply divisive plans.

Infantino leant his support to European football’s governing body as it attempts to quash an initiative that threatens its prized Champions League and the health of domestic competitio­ns such as England’s Premier League.

“It is our task to protect the European sport model, so if some elect to go their own way then they must live with the consequenc­es of their choices,” Infantino said at UEFA’s congress in Switzerlan­d.

“They are responsibl­e for their choices.”

Twelve powerful clubs — six from England, and three each from Spain and Italy — have signed up for the Super League, which offers guaranteed spots for its founding members and billions of dollars in payments. Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are the English clubs involved, together with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid from Spain and Italian trio Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Currently, teams have to qualify for the Champions League each year through their national competitio­ns, and face a lengthy group phase before reaching the high-profile latter stages.

The Super League would guarantee a spot for its founding members every year, removing the uncertaint­y of qualificat­ion and the accompanyi­ng risks to revenue. The breakaway plan prompted a furious reaction from fans and officials, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin saying on Monday it was motivated by “greediness, selfishnes­s and narcissism”, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saying its closed nature was “not right”.

On Tuesday, Ceferin implored club owners, particular­ly those of Premier League teams, to row back on the plans.

 ?? Gianni Infantino ??
Gianni Infantino

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