European Super League: ECA opposes 12-team breakaway competition

By Sports Desk April 18, 2021

The European Club Association (ECA) has joined UEFA in condemning proposals for a new European Super League.

Widespread reports emerged on Sunday of an agreement in place between 12 European clubs to form a breakaway competition.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are the clubs involved, although confirmation is still pending.

Reigning European champions Bayern Munich, along with last season's Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain, were not included.

UEFA, Europe's top leagues and football associations confirmed their opposition to the proposal, which drew a mass of criticism from pundits and fans alike.

With UEFA set to announce changes to the format of the Champions League from 2024 onwards on Monday, the ECA reiterated its commitment to those proposed alterations, and insisted it would stand against a Super League.

An emergency meeting of the ECA was held on Sunday. According to reports, none of the 12 teams making up the proposed breakaway competition responded to invitations to attend, though PSG and Bayern were represented. 

"In light of today's reports on the subject of a so-called breakaway league, the ECA as the body representing 246 leading clubs across Europe, reiterates its stated commitment to working on developing the UEFA Club Competitions (UCCs) model with UEFA for the cycle beginning 2024 and that a 'closed super league model' to which media articles refer would be strongly opposed by the ECA," a statement read.

The ECA statement went on to outline the body's intention to "work with UEFA on a renewed structure for European Club Football as a whole post 2024", before concluding that "the ECA Executive Board will be convening over the coming days to take appropriate decisions in light of any further developments".

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    UEFA said: “Following Mr. Marciniak’s statement, UEFA acknowledges his profound apologies and clarification.

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    “They requested that Mr. Marciniak remain in his role as the referee for the upcoming UEFA Champions League final, firmly asserting that removing him would undermine the promotion of anti-discrimination.

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    The organiser of the event at which Marciniak was a guest speaker, co-chairman of the Confederation party Mentzen, launched the political slogan ‘We stand against Jews, gays, abortion, taxation and the European Union’.

    Anti-racism group Never Again had urged UEFA to drop Marciniak after the event at the International Congress Centre in Katowice.

    Marciniak said in a statement: “I want to express my deepest apologies for my involvement and any distress or harm it may have caused.

    “Upon reflection and further investigation, it has become evident that I was gravely misled and completely unaware of the true nature and affiliations of the event in question.

    Marciniak, second right, refereed December’s World Cup final in Qatar (Nick Potts/PA)

    “I had no knowledge that it was associated (with) a Polish extreme-right movement. Had I been aware of this fact, I would have categorically declined the invitation.

    “It is important to understand that the values promoted by this movement are entirely contrary to my personal beliefs and the principles I strive to uphold in my life. I am deeply remorseful for any perception that my participation may have contradicted them.”

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