In a recent announcement, the top European league team made a joint statement to start a mid-week competition called European Super League. This league will include the ‘founding members’ of the top 12 teams of the European League and will play a separate breakaway tournament.
The teams that made a joint statement include AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus from Italy, Barcelona Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid joining from Spain along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham.
The statement also said that three more founding members will join before the season begins, and the inaugural season will begin as soon as it is practicable.
The signing up clubs for the European Super League will get 3.5 billion euros to support infrastructure at a time of the pandemic. The players will also receive solidarity payment which will be much higher than what they are getting in the current league
However, the move is being highly criticised by fans and critics across the world, calling it as purely motivated by greed for making money for the biggest clubs only. An important aspect of the breakaway tournament would mean that the same 15 clubs playing every year keeping the smaller teams away from these super league matches.
FIFA came out and expressed its disapproval of the move, saying that players taking part in ESL will be banned from playing in the World Cup.
In a statement, it said, “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.”
“In our view, and in accordance with our 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,” it added.
“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 statement further read.
UEFA also mentioned that it will remain united against the cynical project, adding that players who participate in the Super League might also be denied the opportunity to represent their national teams.
UEFA, the English Football Association, the Premier League, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), LaLiga, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have today released a statement.
Read it in full here: 👇
— UEFA (@UEFA) April 18, 2021
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the move will turn out to be “damaging for football”. The statement from the ESL, however, mentioned that going forward they are ready to have a discussion with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership for the betterment of football.