Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UK moves to block breakaway Super League

We will do whatever it takes to protect our national game. Be in no doubt, if they can’t act, we will,” British sports minister told parliament.

• April 19, 2021
Oliver Dowden
Oliver Dowden, sports minister of the United Kingdom

Oliver Dowden, sports minister of the United Kingdom, says Britain will do everything possible to put a stop to the newly formed European Super League.

The controversial super league which already has the nod of 12 football clubs with English teams summing up a majority has been criticised by football governing bodies at different levels.

The 12 teams are planning on having more fixtures in the new Super League so as to maximize profits from tickets, TV rights and other sponsorship deals.

However, Reuters reports that the sports minister while addressing the parliament on Monday revealed that Britain is considering options to penalise the top six English teams that have signed up for the league.

He disclosed that he already met with the Premier League, the Football Association (FA) and the president of UEFA, over the recently announced breakaway, adding that the government would take necessary steps to block the breakaway if football governing bodies failed to do so.

“We are examining every option from governance reform to competition law and mechanisms that allow football to take place. Put simply, we will be reviewing everything the government does to support these clubs to play,” he said.

“We will do whatever it takes to protect our national game. Be in no doubt, if they can’t act, we will,” he told parliament. “We will put everything on the table to prevent this from happening.”

Already, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson who doubles as the president of the English Football Association on Sunday kicked against the proposed breakaway.

Peoples Gazette had earlier reported that UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin reached out to FIFA for support to curb the new league concept with moves to ban the participating clubs and their players from FIFA related competitions.

FIFA had in January said that a breakaway league would not be recognised and that “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.”

European Club Association (ECA)  also registered its opposition to the Super League proposal. The association released a statement Sunday evening to say it “strongly opposed” the “closed Super League model.” The body emphasised that it would rather work with UEFA to amend the structure of European club football from 2024 onwards.

The teams that have signed up for the super league include AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur.

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