UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin pledges support to Greece in country's attempt to overhaul professional league

Ceferin met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday and signed a seven-page agreement to provide assistance to the Greek Football Federation

The Associated Press February 25, 2020 18:27:09 IST
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin pledges support to Greece in country's attempt to overhaul professional league
  • President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin says the organization has agreed to help Greece overhaul its professional leagues to curb violence and corruption

  • Ceferin met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday and signed a seven-page agreement to provide assistance to the Greek Football Federation

  • Successive governments have struggled for decades to contain violence surrounding Greece's game, caught between the powerful influence of club owners and UEFA rules that do not allow direct government interference in the sport

Athens: President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin says the organization has agreed to help Greece overhaul its professional leagues to curb violence and corruption.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin pledges support to Greece in countrys attempt to overhaul professional league

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, receives a gift from UEFA President Aleskander Ceferin, during their meeting in Athens. AP

Ceferin met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday and signed a seven-page agreement to provide assistance to the Greek Football Federation.

"UEFA will produce within three months from signing this declaration of intent, a holistic study for the improvement and upgrade of Greek professional football," the document, seen by The Associated Press, said.

The study, it said, will include "tailor-made proposals" to restructure the league organization, respond to violence and "defamatory statements," and safeguard the "integrity of the game to combat the threat of match-fixing, corruption, and doping."

Successive governments have struggled for decades to contain violence surrounding Greece's game, caught between the powerful influence of club owners and UEFA rules that do not allow direct government interference in the sport.

The recent introduction of overseas referees for major games and VAR technology has been credited with improving the quality of the league. But the changes have failed to eliminate match-related violence, attacks against referees, and ongoing allegations of corruption.

The prime minister last month warned he was willing to request expulsion of Greece’s teams from European competition and even suspend the league unless major clubs sign up to the reform plan.

“We have taken a decision to clean up Greek football for good and we are very much looking forward to your assistance in this process,” Mitsotakis told Ceferin. "Greeks are very much in love with the sport and, frankly, what we've seen doesn't do justice to the product that we have."

Ceferin, who was joined in Athens by FIFA vice president Greg Clarke, said he was glad to receive assurances that the government would provide only a supporting role in the reforms.

"We are glad that the government is joining this common effort," Ceferin said. “I do think that football will solve (the problems) by itself — but with our help.”

 

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Champions League: Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick urges embattled team to bounce back at Lazio
Sports

Champions League: Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick urges embattled team to bounce back at Lazio

Bayern suffered a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday following a 3-3 draw against strugglers Arminia Bielefeld upon their return from winning the Club World Cup in Qatar 11 days ago

Ligue 1: PSG striker Moise Kean isolating after testing positive for coronavirus
Sports

Ligue 1: PSG striker Moise Kean isolating after testing positive for coronavirus

PSG face Barcelona in the Round of 16 of the Champions League on next Wednesday, leading 4-1 from the first leg in Spain, with Kean scoring a goal in that game.

Indian football team's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying round matches postponed to June
Sports

Indian football team's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying round matches postponed to June

Even on Friday, the AFC did not specify the dates, only saying that "it has been working with member associations grouped together to help them make their own arrangements and play out the remaining games in one venue".