The World soccer leader spoke out against breakaway plans at the UEFA Congress in Switzerland on Tuesday
By Jonathan Johnson
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has spoken out against the breakaway Super League proposed by 12 clubs that would see them leave UEFA competition. Speaking at a UEFA Congress on Tuesday, the world soccer chief expressed “strong disapproval” of the Super League and blasted its “short-term financial gain.”
“We can only strongly disapprove the creation of the Super League,” said Infantino. “A Super League which is a closed shop. A breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA and from FIFA.
“There is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some. They need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility.”
Infantino then spelled out to founding members Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan that there will soon be no turning back.
“If some elect to go their own way then they must live with the consequences of their choice, they are responsible for their choice,” he said. “Concretely this means, either you are in, or you are out. You cannot be half in and half out. This has to be absolutely clear,”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin declared European soccer’s governing body as “unbeatable” when allied with FIFA before challenging the Premier League’s “big six” to make the difference.
“You showed that you care about the values of football,” he told Infantino. “And if we stand together, we are unbeatable.
“Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake,” Ceferin then said of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, United, City and Spurs. “What matters is that there is still time to change your mind. Everyone makes mistakes.
“Come to your senses, not out of love for football, because I imagine some of you do not have much of that, but out of respect for those who bleed themselves dry so that they can go to the stadium to support the team and want the dream to be kept alive. For those, you (must) change your mind.”
Ceferin also recognized the loyalty shown by the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Olympique Lyonnais and Sevilla towards UEFA during the attempted Super League breakaway before outlining the reforms that will come into place in 2024.
Additionally Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee spoke saying, “Our European Sport Model is under threat today. It is losing ground to the purely profit-oriented goals of commercial sport providers and investors. If everything is only looked at from a business perspective, then the social mission of sport is lost.”