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European Super League 'ruled out' by Agnelli

November 20, 2018

Andrea Agnelli, chairman of Juventus and the European Club Association, has distanced himself from plans to create a European Super League. There was also a pledge to increase cooperation between the ECA and UEFA.

Belgien Brüssel UEFA Präsident Aleksander Ceferin und Andrea Agnelli
Image: Getty Images/AFP/J. Thys

Plans for a European Super League have been categorically "ruled out" by Juventus and European Club Association (ECA) chairman Andrea Agnelli.

Agnelli said that Juventus had not been involved in any talks about a Super League since 2015 as the ECA and European football's governing body UEFA emphasized their commitment to working together.

"The future has to be written, but what I can rule out from a Juventus perspective, from an ECA perspective is the Super League," Agnelli said. "There have been no talks of a Super League carried out since 2015."

Agnelli, whose Juventus was one of the clubs reported to be a founding member of the Super League, said: "I can confirm we have never seen, never discussed, never been involved in the creation of this document (about a Super League)."

The ECA, which represents more than 200 European clubs, has been accused by German news magazine Der Spiegel of covertly planning a European Super League along with several of Europe's top clubs, including record German champions Bayern Munich.

'European football is united'

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said after the meeting on Tuesday in Brussels, which was also attended by European Union Sports Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, that cooperation would be taken to "the next level."

"We want to demonstrate that European football is united," Ceferin said. "The Super League will not happen. It is in a way a fiction now or a dream," Ceferin later told the BBC in an interview to be published on November 26.

Deutschland Fußball Bayern München Uli Hoeneß und Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are believed to be in favor of taking Bayern into a European Super LeagueImage: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe

The cooperation includes among other things adherance to financial fair play rules, the future of UEFA club competitions after the 2020-21 season and the modernization of the transfer system, he said. In an interview with the BBC published Monday, Ceferin also dismissed talk of a possible European Super League.

World governing body FIFA is also considering a multi-billion-dollar deal for a revamped Club World Cup and global Nations League.

FIFA has established a task force to look into revamped tournament formats with its president, Gianni Infantino, a known backer of change. It is to deliver its proposals at the next FIFA Council meeting in Miami on March 14-15.

VAR could make UCL debut this season

Video assistant referee (VAR) technology could be implemented in this season's Champions League if it decides in December to bring forward the introduction of VAR, which was originally planned for next August.

Ceferin said a report from his referees department next week could mean "we will see when we can implement it. The latest is next season."

The UEFA's Executive Committee could make a fresh decision at a meeting in Dublin on December 2-3. Without VAR, earlier  this season, Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in a disputed decision and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling won a penalty for tripping on the turf.

mds/pfd (dpa, AFP)