Twelve of Europe’s top football clubs have announced they are launching are breakaway European Super League prompting divided reaction and condemnation.
European giants Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus were among the dozen, which doesn’t include any French or Germany clubs in a major rebel move which threatens the current order of football.
“AC Milan, Arsenal, Atltico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as founding clubs,” the statement from the new Super League said.
“It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable.”
The concept will clearly rival the UEFA Champions League, prompting a reaction from European football’s governing body UEFA along with FIFA who have banned anyone participating to be included in any of its sanctioned events.
FIFA said in a statement: “FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play.
“FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.”
UEFA labeled the competition as “a cynical project” and reiterated FIFA’s stance, which may limit the players from those clubs playing at events like the upcoming European Championships or World Cup.
The UEFA statement said: “If this were to happen, we wish to reiterate that we will remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.
“We will consider all measures available to us, at all levels, both judicial and sporting in order to prevent this happening. Football is based on open competitions and sporting merit; it cannot be any other way.
“As previously announced by FIFA and the six Confederations, the clubs concerned will be banned from playing in any other competition at domestic, European or world level, and their players could be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.”