FIFA ‘Disapproves’ Of European Super League Plans Of Breakaway

Twelve of Europe’s most powerful clubs announced the launch of a breakaway European Super League on Monday in a potentially seismic shift in the way football is run.

Six Premier League teams – Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham – are involved, alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

The clubs were immediately accused of greed and cynicism and threatened with international exile.

FIFA have released a statement after the announcement of the Super League formation, expressing its ‘disapproval’, but also urging ‘calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game.’

The 12 breakaway clubs – Milan, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur – released a joint statement announcing the formation of the European Super League.

While UEFA have been damning in their reaction, threatening sanctions and lawsuits against the clubs involved, FIFA are trying to be more of a peacemaker.

“In view of several media requests and as already stated several times, FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA,” read their statement.

“In our view, and in accordance with out statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution. Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case. Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a “closed European breakaway league” outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.

“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.”

The breakaway 12 said in the statement the new groups “look forward” to “holding” conversations with UEFA and FIFA.

“Football is the only global sport in the world with more than four billion fans and our responsibility as big clubs is to respond to their desires,” said Real Madrid chief, and the first Super League president, Florentino Perez.

The format would see the 20 teams divided into two groups of 10, with the top three in each pool qualifying for the quarter-finals, and the fourth and fifth-placed teams facing each other in play-offs.

“By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football,” said Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer. The American will be a vice-chairman of the Super League.

The clubs also said a women’s version of the competition will be created.

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