UEFA president Ceferin calls on England to ditch EFL Cup

By Sports Desk March 05, 2020

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin believes English football needs to follow France's example and dispose of their league cup.

The EFL Cup - founded in 1960 - is secondary to the FA Cup in stature in the English game, with many clubs using it to field heavily rotated line-ups.

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have dominated with three straight triumphs, yet a number of leading managers have complained of packed fixture lists in recent years.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sent a reserve side to their quarter-final against Aston Villa due to Club World Cup commitments, and the EFL Cup would surely make way if the calendar was to be trimmed.

This season's Coupe de la Ligue final - between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon next month - will be the last, and Ceferin believes it is in the best interests of the sport for the EFL Cup to go the same way.

"The league cup is off in France already," Ceferin told The Times. "Only England remains.

"I think that everybody knows that it would be better for everyone if that were not played any more.

"But the problem is that, through that cup, you finance a lot of clubs that are quite disadvantaged, so I understand the problem.

"The English are also quite traditionalist, [they] like things that have been there for ages."

The potential expansion of the Champions League would bloat top clubs' fixture lists further, yet Ceferin insists a call on the format of the tournament from 2024 has not yet been made, while he is not concerned by talk of a 'Super League'.

"We have many proposals on the table," he said. "Whatever evolution you have, you won't satisfy everyone.

"I'm not naive enough to think that everybody will be happy. Everybody will have to step back a bit.

"They shouldn't forget that the Champions League is the biggest club sports competition in the world, with some tradition. You don't just say, 'Now I play differently', and all the fans go and watch you."

Ceferin is hopeful a change to the VAR system in future UEFA events will prove universally popular, however, with marginal offsides a widespread cause of frustration.

"Yes, absolutely - thicker lines are essential for me," he said. "Because when you lose a match worth €100million because of one centimetre, because your foot is long or your nose is long, it's a bit too much.

"The line that is drawn is a subjective thing because he or she draws it in a van or wherever they are. It has to be a clear and obvious mistake.

"There's no way back now [with VAR] but let's see how we improve it."

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