UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin says 'purpose over profit' mantra for European football in face of 'threats'

With FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the audience, Čeferin told the UEFA Congress on Tuesday he was not 'ashamed' European football was seen as so successful and dominating

The Associated Press March 03, 2020 16:57:54 IST
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin says 'purpose over profit' mantra for European football in face of 'threats'
  • With FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the audience, Čeferin told the UEFA Congress on Tuesday he was not 'ashamed' European football was seen as so successful

  • FIFA has tried to gain a greater foothold in the club game, with Infantino trying to raise finances to attract the biggest names to an enlarged 24-team Club World Cup

  • Plans for a global clubs' league from Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez also emerged after he met with Infantino in December

Amsterdam: Asserting the power of European football, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin warned of alarming threats to the game as he resists attempts to radically change competitions that would be a “death sentence.”

UEFA President Aleksander eferin says purpose over profit mantra for European football in face of threats

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin looks up during a meeting of European football leaders at the congress of the UEFA governing body in Amsterdam's Beurs van Berlage, Netherlands. AP

With FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the audience, Čeferin told the UEFA Congress on Tuesday he was not “ashamed” European football was seen as so successful and dominating.

FIFA has tried to gain a greater foothold in the club game, with Infantino trying to raise finances to attract the biggest names to an enlarged 24-team Club World Cup. Plans for a global clubs' league from Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez also emerged after he met with Infantino in December.

Čeferin said it was an “inalienable right” for UEFA and other confederations to organize their own competitions.

“The principles of solidarity, of promotion, relegation and open leagues are also non-negotiable," Čeferin said. “Our principles, history, tradition and structure have enabled football to dominate other sports and enabled European football to dominate the rest of the world. Calling them into question would be a death sentence for our sport.”

The future format of the Champions League is also being debated with opposition growing in the last year to a concept to turn Europe's elite competition into a largely closed one.

"If our success enables us to defend with strength, conviction and legitimacy the European sports model, based on promotion and relegation and the principle of solidarity, we can be proud," Čeferin said in Amsterdam. "If our success enables us to ward off threats that appear on the horizon, we can be proud. These threats are alarming and we need to anticipate the worst if we are to prevent it."

“When purpose over profit becomes profit over purpose, it is time to raise the alarm. Football is not simply a business like any other. It has a history, tradition and structure that must be respected. "

Čeferin tried to distance himself from dramatic attempts to transform the football landscape in a speech to officials from the 55 UEFA member nations and leaders from other confederations.

“No football administrator, no matter the size of ego should think we are the stars of the game. because we are not,” Čeferin said, without naming anyone. “We are the guardians of a legacy. We are guardians, here to protect the game, its players and its history.”

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Bundesliga: 'No decision taken' on David Alaba's move from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid, says defender's father
Sports

Bundesliga: 'No decision taken' on David Alaba's move from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid, says defender's father

On Monday, Spanish newspaper Marca said Austria centre-back Alaba had agreed a four-year deal with the La Liga giants starting next season and had passed a medical.

Premier League: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says qualifying for Champions League their first priority
Sports

Premier League: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says qualifying for Champions League their first priority

Sunday's goalless draw at home to Premier League leaders Manchester United, together with wins for Leicester and Manchester City, left Liverpool fourth in the table.

UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin mulling single host nation for Euro 2020, says Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Sports

UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin mulling single host nation for Euro 2020, says Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

The delayed Euro 2020 finals, scheduled to be played in 12 host cities across Europe from 11 June until 11 July, have already been pushed back a year due to problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.