A star-studded panel of Europe-based legends will be urged to "protect the game of football" by giving expert insight into hot topics including VAR and handball at a UEFA summit on Monday.

Coaches including Jose Mourinho, Fabio Capello, Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti, Gareth Southgate and Fabio Capello have joined the 24-man UEFA football board, along with superstar former players Paolo Maldini, Luis Figo, Gareth Bale, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Laudrup, Philipp Lahm and Robbie Keane.

There is one non-European on the board, with Inter's Argentine vice-president Javier Zanetti joining a throng that also includes former Germany team-mates Rudi Voller and Jurgen Klinsmann, plus Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman, Rafael Benitez, Patrick Vieira and Eric Abidal.

The noticeably all-male board will hold its first meeting at UEFA's European House of Football headquarters on Monday.

European football's governing body said the group will "give an institutional yet independent voice of experience and expertise on fundamental football-related topics".

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "UEFA is delighted to see that the very ones who have shaped the game's history with their talents and philosophy through decades are gathered again around our common goal – to protect the game of football and its essential values. As we always say: football first!"

Ceferin is campaigning for clarity on football's handball rules, having recently described the law as "really obscure".

"No one understands it any more," Ceferin said. "So we really need a conversation here, finding solutions and clarifying some issues."

He said that would be an issue for the football board to look at, and it was confirmed on Thursday as being on the agenda for the meeting, along with discussions about the video assistant referee system, player behaviour and medical issues.

UEFA said its technical director and chief of football Zvonimir Boban would chair Monday's meeting, although he is not a member of the new board.

UEFA football board members: Jose Mourinho (Portugal), Carlo Ancelotti (Italy), Zinedine Zidane (France), Paolo Maldini (Italy), Fabio Capello (Italy), Javier Zanetti (Argentina), Luis Figo (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Ronald Koeman (Netherlands), Gareth Southgate (England), Rio Ferdinand (England), Michael Laudrup (Denmark), Rafael Benitez (Spain), Roberto Martinez (Spain)
Predrag Mijatovic (Montenegro), Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany), Rudi Voller (Germany), Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Juan Mata (Spain), Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland), Patrick Vieira (France), Henrik Larsson (Sweden), Eric Abidal (France), Gareth Bale (Wales).

The UK and Ireland submitted an official bid to host Euro 2028 on Wednesday, with the homes of Everton, Tottenham and Newcastle United among those proposed to be used.

Overall, 10 stadiums are included in the bid; Wembley Stadium, Hampden Park, Principality Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Etihad Stadium, St James' Park, Villa Park, Hampden Park, Aviva Stadium, Casement Park and Everton's new stadium, which is still under construction.

England has previously hosted the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, while multiple games were played at Wembley Stadium and Hampden Park during Euro 2020.

Women's Euro 2022 was also hosted in England, with the hosts ultimately winning the trophy.

The bid claims the UK and Ireland is: "Committed to delivering a record-breaking tournament with more tickets than ever before to grow a more diverse and inclusive game," saying there will be almost three million tournament tickets available.

UEFA also confirmed it had received bid dossiers from Turkey to host either Euro 2028 or 2032, and Italy for Euro 2032.

The UEFA Executive Committee will vote in October to decide who has won the right to host both tournaments.

UEFA's newly re-elected president Aleksander Ceferin has renewed his attack on the Super League and hit back at critics of the Premier League.

Ceferin has held the position since he was elected in 2016 and will now remain in the post until at least 2027 after running unopposed. 

During his last term, the Slovenian had to contend with the initial threat of the independent European Super League in April 2021.

Despite its failure when several teams pulled out amid fan protests, high-profile clubs – notably Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus – continue to support the proposal which announced plans for an 80-team format earlier this year.

However, when addressing the UEFA congress in Lisbon on Wednesday, Ceferin offered up a starkly different assessment of the project.

"Those who promote this project are now claiming that they want to save football," he said.

"It's a good job nobody has ever died of shame. In the space of a few months, the Super League has turned into a character in Little Red Riding Hood: a wolf disguised as a grandmother, ready to eat you up. 

"But nobody's fooled. Because here we have two opposing world views. We have cynicism over morality. We have selfishness over solidarity. We have greed over benevolence. 

"Self-absorption over openness to others. Self-interest over altruism. Shameful lies over the truth. Heirs over builders. Cartel over meritocracy and democracy. Stock prices over sporting merit. The quest for profit over the quest for trophies.

"If there is something that we must never forget, and that no one should ever forget, it is this: football is and will always remain the sport of the people." 

Ceferin also leapt to the defence of the Premier League, which has been the subject of much criticism.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas suggested that teams in the Premier League are "financially doped", with others citing it as the cause for the economic imbalance in European football. 

"Jealousy is a bad adviser," Ceferin said. "Before it was UEFA that took the criticism, now it seems that it is the Premier League that is demonised and should be overthrown. 

"The Premier League was created through a system of equality and solidarity between its clubs. Rather than a model to be destroyed, it is a model to be imitated."

Aleksander Ceferin has been re-elected as UEFA president until 2027 after running unopposed.

Ceferin was first elected in 2016, before being voted in for a four-year second term in 2019.

The latest extension to his tenure was confirmed on Wednesday at the UEFA Congress in Lisbon.

It had been confirmed in January the Slovenian was the only candidate for the elections.

Ceferin's second term was not without its challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, which saw Euro 2020 delayed by a year.

He and UEFA also saw off the initial threat of the independent European Super League.

European football's governing body banned Russia last year following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The coming years will see the introduction of tweaks UEFA has made to the format of the Champions League, its flagship club competition.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin dubbed the refereeing scandal involving Barcelona as one of the "most serious" situations he has ever seen.

The LaLiga leaders are subject to a UEFA investigation regarding alleged payments made to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the refereeing committee in Spain.

It has been claimed the total payments from Barcelona exceeded €7million, dating from 2001 to 2018, with newspaper El Pais reporting Negreira's company – DASNIL 95 SL – produced written reports and DVD assessments of referees for the club prior to games.

Barcelona maintain their innocence as prosecutors pursue charges against the Catalan side for alleged corruption, though LaLiga president Javier Tebas admitted the league is unable to sanction the club due to a statute of limitations in place.

However, Ceferin confirmed no such restrictions exist for UEFA and spoke about the significance of the allegations.

"The situation is extremely serious. It is so serious that, in my opinion, it is one of the most serious [situations] in football that I have ever seen," he told Slovenian newspaper Ekipa.

"I cannot comment directly on this for two reasons. Firstly, because we have an independent disciplinary committee in charge of this. And secondly, because I have not dealt with this matter in detail.

"At the level of [LaLiga], of course, the matter is time-barred and can have no competitive consequences, but the proceedings are ongoing at the level of prosecutors. But as far as UEFA is concerned, there is nothing time-barred."

UEFA has hit Eintracht Frankfurt and PSV with partial stadium closures after unsavoury scenes overshadowed European ties involving both clubs in February.

Both legs of Eintracht's 5-0 aggregate defeat to Napoli in the Champions League's last-16 were marred by violence, with clashes between supporters witnessed before the Partenopei's 2-0 away win on February 21.

Eintracht were subsequently charged with the lighting of fireworks and blocking of public passageways by UEFA, and the governing body has now fined the Bundesliga club a total of €70,000 and ordered them to close areas of Deutsche Bank Park for their next continental fixture.

The fear of further violence led Italian authorities to attempt to ban Eintracht supporters from travelling to Naples for the return fixture on March 15.

However, supporters clashed with local police after defying that measure, with footage on social media showing crowds throwing missiles at officers wielding riot shields.

Meanwhile, PSV have also been ordered to close sections of the Philips Stadion for their next UEFA game after a fan attacked Sevilla goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic during a Europa League match.

PSV suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat in the competition's knockout round play-offs, with the tie overshadowed by a supporter entering the pitch and throwing a punch at Dmitrovic in February's second leg in Eindhoven.

The 20-year-old man was given a two-month prison stint on March 8, as well as being made subject to a 40-year ban from PSV's stadium.

PSV have been fined €29,375 after UEFA investigated the incident, with the club also being charged with the throwing of objects at the same match.

UEFA has appointed ethics and disciplinary inspectors to investigate allegations that Barcelona made payments to a company owned by a former top referee.

A corruption complaint was recently filed by Spanish prosecutors against the Catalan giants, concerning payments allegedly made to a business run by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, once a top match official and latterly vice-president of Spain's Technical Committee of Referees (CTA).

It has been claimed the total payments from Barcelona exceeded €7million, dating from 2001 to 2018.

Newspaper El Pais last month reported Negreira's company – DASNIL 95 SL – produced written reports and DVD assessments of referees for Barcelona prior to games.

UEFA announced in a statement on Thursday that it has opened an investigation into the matter.

"In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct an investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework by FC Barcelona in connection with the so-called 'Caso Negreira'," the statement read, adding that: "Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta maintains the club has done nothing wrong and that the allegations are simply an attempt to derail the LaLiga leaders.

Laporta recently said: "The campaign we are suffering is not by chance, you all know this. Its objective is, in the short term, to destabilise the team, and in the medium term, to control Barca. I will have time and I want to explain to you who, why and how they want to orchestrate this campaign.

"Have no doubt that we will defend ourselves. And we will not only defend ourselves, we will attack."

Toni Kroos has hit out at UEFA and believes it is only a matter of time before a European Super League is launched.

New plans for a continental Super League including up to 80 teams were laid out this month.

There would be at least 14 matches per season for the clubs involved in a multi-division format, with no permanent members and teams still participating in their domestic leagues.

A proposed breakaway European Super League collapsed in April 2021 soon after plans were announced, but Real Madrid midfielder Kroos is in no doubt a new competition will go ahead.

The former Germany international said on his podcast Einfach mal Luppen: "I think we will see the Super League. And I believe so for several reasons. The idea of the Super League has changed and deserves to be heard.

"If you look carefully from both angles, you will see that UEFA is by no means a great Samaritan for football fans and that the Super League has no plans, at least in the second attempt, to exclude any team, because there will be no permanent founding members.

"It is a sports competition, an open tournament, but managed by the clubs and not by UEFA, because these clubs believe that they do not need UEFA for that. I think this deserves at least one chance.

"Although we have already talked about the loss of passion for football, I believe that the Super League has the opportunity to reverse that situation. Let there be more enthusiasm and emotion for the games that we will be able to see.

"Because in the end, let's not fool ourselves, many people always say: 'Who wants to see Real Madrid against Manchester City every week?' But have you gotten tired of watching [Roger] Federer against [Rafael] Nadal over and over again? I don't. That’s my opinion,"

Kroos suggested Europe's governing body is guilty of double standards.

He added: "I think we have only heard the UEFA side, and too often in my opinion. Why is it okay for UEFA to introduce a Nations League that no one needs?

"Suddenly no one asks them about it. That's why I think it's incredibly important to listen to other proposals like the Super League. I get the feeling that we are no longer being listened to."

Organisers of the European Super League project are ready to include up to 80 teams in the competition, as they battle to turn the vision into a reality.

In a new manifesto published on Thursday, it was revealed clubs would be split into divisions and guaranteed at least 14 matches per season.

The intention is for clubs to participate in their domestic leagues alongside the European Super League.

According to Super League organisers A22, which describes itself as the company "formed to sponsor and assist" the development of the competition, almost 50 European clubs and stakeholders have been canvassed since October.

The "vast majority" are said to "share the assessment that the very foundation of European football is under threat, and it is time for change".

Bernd Reichart, CEO of A22, said: “Clubs bear all entrepreneurial risks but too often are forced to sit on the sidelines when key decisions are made, and they are watching their sporting and financial foundations crumble.

"Our discussions have made clear clubs are often unable to publicly speak up against a system where the threat of sanctions is used to stifle opposition.

"Our dialogue has been honest, direct, and fruitful. There are clear conclusions about the need for change and the building blocks of how to achieve it."

The 10-point manifesto covers issues including player health and investment in women's football, but the competition that is currently thought to have only three clubs openly supporting its development – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – also makes it clear this should be a mass-participation event.

The original plans, revealed in April 2021, involved just 12 top clubs, with most backing out immediately after a wave of anger from across the game. Six were from England, three from Spain and three from Italy. It was feared it would be closed to others.

Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain were among clubs that declined to become involved in the project.

Fears have been expressed that such a competition would be harmful to existing domestic leagues.

The new manifesto states: "A European football league should be an open, multi-divisional competition with 60 to 80 teams, allowing for sustainable distribution of revenues across the pyramid.

"Participation should be based on annual sporting merit and there should be no permanent members."

It adds: "Participating clubs should remain fully committed to domestic tournaments as they are today.

"At the same time, the critical need to strengthen and make more competitive domestic tournaments across the continent must be addressed.

"European competitions should play a pivotal role in helping to achieve this goal by generating and allocating additional resources throughout the system."

With clubs' finances coming under scrutiny, the A22 statement adds: "Financial sustainability rules should allow clubs to only spend a fixed percentage of their annual football-related revenue on player salaries and net transfers with appropriate provisions for smaller clubs and transition rules."

European Super League bosses last month succeeded in restoring an injunction preventing UEFA and FIFA from punishing clubs wishing to be involved in the controversial project.

The European Union's Court of Justice (CJEU) is due to rule in the coming months on whether the long-standing European and world governing bodies would be entitled to freeze out a European Super League and its competing teams.

European Super League chiefs have succeeded in restoring an injunction preventing UEFA and FIFA from punishing clubs wishing to be involved in the controversial project.

Madrid's Audiencia Provincial Civil court issued a decision on Tuesday that was welcomed by organisers of the planned new competition.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have been the only clubs who have not backed away from the Super League, since its launch in April 2021 sparked a backlash and led nine of the 12 teams involved to pull out.

World governing body FIFA and European counterpart UEFA had warned players and clubs taking part in the breakaway league would be banned from their competitions, which include the World Cup and European Championship.

In December, an opinion published by the European Union's Court of Justice (CJEU) said UEFA and FIFA would be entitled to freeze out a European Super League and its competing teams.

That was in response to a request by the Commercial Court in Madrid to rule on whether FIFA and UEFA would have the right to take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.

European Super League chiefs argued such actions should be regarded as anti-competitive and incompatible with EU competition law. The CJEU opinion was not a binding ruling, which is due to follow in the coming months, and now the sport's ruling bodies have been told they should not be using powers to intervene in the meantime.

The Madrid court said on Tuesday: "The problem is that the risk that exists of the arbitrary use by FIFA and UEFA of its disciplinary power does not adhere to the repercussion of its effects within the competitions they manage, but it can also be used, as it is clear that it has been threatened with doing so, to discourage any purpose of the operators of the market who are tempted to build relationships with the competitor."

It added: "The eventual justification of the conduct of FIFA and UEFA as an attempt to protect the European sports model we consider it, prima facie, as a flimsy excuse."

There is no guarantee clubs will be tempted back to the European Super League, given supporters of many teams were so strongly opposed, but Tuesday's ruling may encourage more to show an interest.

Six clubs from the Premier League and three each from LaLiga and Serie A initially agreed to join the European Super League, prior to public reaction leading to a rethink.

A22 Sports Management was set up to manage the European Super League project, and its CEO Bernd Reichart welcomed the latest development, saying it would allow his business "to freely continue the project of creating a new and exciting European football competition".

Reichart added: "It confirms that UEFA's monopoly position cannot be used to pressure or threaten clubs, players or companies willing to innovate and invigorate competition in professional football.

"We will therefore continue our dialogue with football stakeholders in a new and more appropriate environment, free from threats and other obstructive steps taken by UEFA and other bodies."

UEFA has confirmed format changes to both the Nations League and qualifiers for the European Championships and World Cup.

The changes to the Nations League, which began in 2018, include an additional knock-out element, with League A group winners and runners-up taking part in two-legged quarter-finals.

Teams that finish third in League A and League B will face off against the runners-up of League B and League C in two-legged promotion/relegation play-offs.

Changes to qualifying for European Championships and World Cups will now see 12 groups of either four or five teams drawn, with group winners qualifying and runners-up either also qualifying or entering play-offs.

"The introduction of the UEFA Nations League was a success story, replacing friendly games with more competitive matches," said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. 

"And now, by introducing the new knock-out phase, teams will be given even more opportunities to progress while keeping the same number of games within the international match calendar.

"The predictability of the European Qualifiers has also been addressed and tackled, with a fresh new format that will offer all the teams an equal chance to qualify for major tournaments."

The amendments to qualifying will come into effect after Euro 2024.

It was also decided at an Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday that next season's UEFA Super Cup will be moved from its original host city of Kazan in Russia to Athens, Greece.

UEFA confirmed that the game between the winners of the Champions League and the winners of the Europa League will be played at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in the Greek capital on August 16.

The powerful European Club Association hailed the latest setback to the European Super League as "a clear rejection" of the plans of a "self-interested few".

UEFA and FIFA would be acting lawfully by freezing out the proposed competition and its teams, the European Union Court of Justice advocate general Athanasios Rantos said on Thursday.

Formally announcing his non-binding opinion in Luxembourg, ahead of a judgement expected in the new year, Rantos was responding to a request by a Madrid court for a ruling on whether FIFA and UEFA would have the right to take action in accordance with competition law and fundamental freedoms.

European Super League (ESLC) officials have argued such actions should be regarded as anti-competitive and incompatible with EU competition law.

Responding to the opinion from Rantos, the European Club Association (ECA) said the message proposed "a clear rejection of the efforts of a few to undermine the foundations and historical heritage of European football for the many".

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are no longer members of the ECA, having quit when the breakaway was announced in April 2021 and retained an interest in the breakaway getting off the ground even after its dramatic near-immediate collapse.

The nine clubs that fled the Super League project have returned to the ECA fold after withdrawing their resignations from the group. Those clubs are Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan.

The ECA, which represents nearly 250 clubs, said it remained "explicit in its strong opposition towards those self-interested few seeking to disrupt European club football and undermine the values that underpin it".

In a statement, it added: "ECA stands for the responsible, progressive evolution of football and remains steadfast in its belief that in Europe this should be achieved alongside and in partnership with UEFA as the legitimate governing body, together with other fellow professional football stakeholders and European and governmental institutions.

"A great amount of positive reform and progress has been achieved by ECA working in collaborative partnership with UEFA in recent years for the benefit of the entire European football ecosystem."

FIFA also said it welcomed the news from Luxembourg. It backed the opinion that any new competition would need approval from the world and European governing bodies, and that sanctions could be imposed if that was not forthcoming.

FIFA praised the noting by Rantos "of the special nature of sport, including the pyramid structure, which preserves the nature of sporting merit and open competitions accessible to all, as well as the principles of promotion and relegation, competitive balance, and financial solidarity".

Bernd Reichart, CEO of A22 Sports Management, the company formed to deliver the Super League project, believes it can still be realised.

Clubs from across Europe's top leagues would be targeted to be involved, with the concern of those in opposition being that it would weaken existing competitions.

Reichart said: "The opinion of the advocate general is one step in an ongoing case, and we are pleased with the recognition of the right of third parties to organise pan-European club competitions.

"The advocate general made clear that UEFA has a monopolistic position which comes with important responsibilities for enabling third parties to act freely in the market.

"However, we believe the 15 judges of the Grand Chamber who are entrusted with the responsibility to examine this case, will go substantially further and provide the opportunity for clubs to manage their own destiny in Europe."

Juventus will be investigated by the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), UEFA has confirmed.

Earlier this week, Andrea Agnelli, vice-president Pavel Nedved and managing director Maurizio Arrivabene all quit their roles at the top of the club.

It comes amid an investigation into alleged tax fraud, which Juve have denied, and on the back of the club registering a record loss of €254.3million for 2021-22. 

On Thursday, UEFA announced the CFCB had opened an investigation.

"The CFCB First Chamber has today opened a formal investigation into Juventus FC for potential breaches of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations," a statement from UEFA read.

"The investigation will focus on the alleged financial violations that were recently made public as a result of the proceedings led by the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission (CONSOB) and the public prosecutor in Turin.

"On 23 August 2022, the CFCB First Chamber concluded a settlement agreement with Juventus FC. This settlement agreement was concluded on the basis of the financial information previously submitted by the club pertaining to the financial years closing in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022."

The statement added that if the CFCB's investigation finds Juve's financial situation was "significantly different" from what was assessed at the time the settlement was agreed, then the CFCB has reserved the right to terminate the agreement and take "any legal step it may deem appropriate, and impose disciplinary measures".

LaLiga has called for UEFA to issue "immediate sport sanctions" against Juventus following the mass resignation of the club's board, including president Andrea Agnelli.

Juve announced after an emergency meeting on Monday that Agnelli, vice-president Pavel Nedved and managing director Maurizio Arrivabene have all quit their roles.

It comes amid an investigation into alleged tax fraud, which Juventus have denied, and on the back of the club registering a record loss of €254.3million for 2021-22. 

Now, a statement from LaLiga has called the sport's European governing body to take action in response to the developments.

"Following the resignation of the Juventus board of directors, LaLiga demands immediate sports sanctions to be applied on the club," read a league statement.

"LaLiga filed an official complaint against Juventus with UEFA in April 2022 reporting financial fair play breaches being investigated by Italy´s Guardia di Finanza.

"Specifically, the complaint charges that Juventus accounted for transfers above fair value and under accounted for employee expenses, resulting in a breach of UEFA break even requirements.

"This Monday, in the same statement announcing the resignation of its board, Juventus acknowledges financial accounting irregularities, which are also aimed at misleading UEFA financial fair play authorities, among others.

"LaLiga continues to pursue these complaints against Juventus and demands immediate sporting sanctions to be applied on the club by the relevant authorities."

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has both overseen a strict level of financial discipline among the league's clubs, and has frequently been at odds with the state-owned model of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

In addition, he was one of Agnelli's most vocal critics, amid the attempts by Juventus and two of the teams under his watch, Barcelona and Real Madrid, to create the breakaway European Super League.

"LaLiga has long been a major proponent for the implementation, application, and enforcement of strong financial sustainability rules in football," the statement added.

"Financial sustainability is paramount to protecting the business of football. Protect our football."

UEFA confirmed it received three preliminary bid dossiers to host Euro 2028 and 2032 before Wednesday's deadline.

A joint bid from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland was submitted for the 2028 tournament, while Turkey also threw its hat in the ring having never hosted a major tournament.

Football associations from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland put forward a proposal and promised to organise an "unrivalled" tournament.

The bid from the English FA comes after much criticism over its handling of fan disorder at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium, with an independent review describing it as a "day of national shame".

Turkey also bid for the 2032 edition, as well as Italy, which has not been chosen as a sole host of a major tournament since the World Cup in 1990.

The deadline for submitting final dossiers is April 12 2023, before the hosts will be chosen in the European autumn of that year.

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