FIFA and UEFA have kicked against the formation of any breakaway European Super League by claiming to ban players who take part from the World Cup and European Championship.
This follows reports late last year that Europe’s elite clubs wanted to reshape the football landscape to create a ‘European Premier League’ worth a total of £4.6billion to the participants.
It was claimed that FIFA was backing the idea of the breakaway league, which would have included English giants Liverpool and Manchester United.
A statement released jointly by FIFA and its six confederations read, “In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European ‘Super League’ by some European clubs, FIFA and the six confederations (AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasise that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation.
“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation.
“As per the FIFA and confederations statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the confederations at the continental level.
“In this respect, the confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions.
“The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.
“Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch.”
The proposals, which emerged in October last year, were reportedly backed by the Wall Street giant JP Morgan and would include a huge prize pot of several billion pounds.
Between 16 and 18 teams from England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy would be invited to play in the European Premier League from 2022.
They would play home and away matches against each team in the league in a round robin format, meaning a minimum of 30 games, followed by a knockout competition to determine the champion.
It would be a direct rival to UEFA’s Champions League competition and would likely cause immense damage to the five leading domestic leagues in Europe.
Reports at the time said Liverpool and Man United were in talks over the tournament and the other members of the Premier League’s ‘Big six’ – Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham – had been approached.
It came out of the Project Big Picture proposals that threatened a seismic shake-up of the football landscape in England.
Shortly afterwards, plans to revamp the Champions League along the lines of a ‘Swiss system’ emerged.
From 2024, this would mean all 32 Champions League group stage participants playing 10 group games against teams of differing strengths supposedly to make things more competitive.
All 32 teams would be in one big group with the top 16 qualifying for the knockout rounds, the next eight going into the Europa League and the bottom eight eliminated.
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