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UEFA has revealed that players who play for teams involved in the European Super League (ESL) would be banned from the World Cup and Euros.
Speaking to newsmen yesterday, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin stated that the closed league is a ‘disgraceful, self-serving‘ plan and a ‘spit in the face of football lovers‘,
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among 12 clubs who have agreed to join the proposed ESL.
UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced a fan-led review of football.
Dowden said the review had been brought forward and would offer a ‘root and branch’ review of the sport, covering finance, governance and regulation.
He said while football’s authorities are equipped to handle the proposed ESL breakaway, the UK government would provide ‘full backing’.
A YouGov poll of 1,730 football fans found 79% opposed the idea of a European Super League, with 68% of those polled stating they are strongly opposed to the move.
Ceferin, who has been Uefa president since 2016, has overseen an agreement on a new-look 36-team Champions League but made clear his disdain for the ESL project.
‘We are all united against this nonsense of a project,’ he said.
‘I cannot stress more strongly how everyone is united against these disgraceful, self-serving proposals, fuelled by greed above all else.
‘[It is a] cynical plan, completely against what football should be. We cannot and will not allow that to change.
‘Players who will play in the teams that might play in the closed league will be banned from the World Cup and Euros. We urge everyone to stand tall with us as we do everything in our power to ensure this never ends up in fruition.
‘This idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers. We will not allow them to take it away from us.’
The ESL will be a ‘new midweek competition” with teams continuing to “compete in their respective national leagues’.
After it was announced on Sunday, Fifa expressed its ‘disapproval‘ of the proposed competition and called on ‘all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game‘.
World football’s governing body previously said it would not recognize such a competition and any players involved could be denied the chance to play at a World Cup.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK