Los Angeles Times

European teams plan new league

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A group of 12 elite English, Spanish and Italian clubs dramatical­ly split European soccer by announcing the formation of a largely closed Super League.

They are leaving the existing UEFA-run Champions League structure despite warnings they could be kicked out of their domestic competitio­ns and face legal action.

The seismic move to shake up the world’s biggest sport is partly engineered by the American owners of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United who also run U.S. franchises in closed leagues — a model they are trying to replicate in Europe.

The power play came after the rebel clubs reneged on a promise Friday to back the plan by UEFA — European football’s governing body — to expand the Champions League beginning in 2024. The Super League plan was

first leaked in January and reemerged over the weekend.

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez would be the founding chairman of the SL, which said it “intended to commence as soon as practicabl­e” as a 20team competitio­n playing midweek like the current Champions League and Europa League.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s goal sent Leicester to a 1-0 victory over Southampto­n in an FA Cup semifinal played before the first spectators at Wembley Stadium in London in more than a year. Wembley was allowed a 4,000-strong, socially distant crowd. Leicester will face Chelsea in the final May 15. … Firstplace Atletico Madrid beat last-place Eibar 5-0 and got some breathing room atop the Spanish league. Real Madrid played Getafe to a 0-0 draw, giving Atletico a three-point lead over Real Madrid . ... Missouri women’s coach Bryan Blitz, who has led the program for its entire 25-year existence, is retiring.

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