FIFA and the six continental federations have released a statement this morning killing off the prospect of a closed European “Super League” after talks between some of the elite clubs over breaking away from their domestic competitions – and it also looks certain to end the proposed Atlantic League involving Rangers.
Real Madrid and Juventus’s chairmen recently held talks in Madrid [Independent] to further their own proposal for a closed-shop Super League but the global governing body have completely killed the suggestion dead.
FIFA reminded clubs that any of the clubs of players involved in a breakaway league would be banned from any competitions organised by the existing bodies such as the World Cup or Champions League.
The statement was signed by the heads of all six continental federations and insisted that they were firmly opposed to what would be pardigm-shifting change at the top of the world’s most popular sport.
“In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European “Super League” by some European clubs, FIFA and the six confederations (AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasize that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation,” FIFA’s statement said.
“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation.
“As per the FIFA and confederations statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the confederations at the continental level.
“In this respect, the confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions.
“The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.
“Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch.”
UEFA’s signature on the statement contradicts recent comments made by President Aleksander Čeferin, with the UEFA chief recently saying UEFA were open to the idea of cross-border leagues.
Rangers had been involved in proposals with Celtic, Aberdeeen, Hibs and Hearts to join a £350m 20-team league with clubs from Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
For now though, it seems that Rangers will be staying in Scotland and having to use the Champions League and Europa League to test themselves against sides from beyond our borders.