European Super League: Ceferin thanks 'great man' Al-Khelaifi at PSG and other breakaway opponents

By Sports Desk April 20, 2021

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin thanked the club officials who have stood by Champions League reform proposals on Tuesday.

Ceferin was speaking at the UEFA Congress the day after criticising those involved in the breakaway European Super League in emotional comments.

Plans for a new rival competition, widely deemed anti-competitive, were announced at the weekend by 12 clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.

They face a backlash from many throughout the world of football, including UEFA and president Ceferin.

But on Tuesday, Ceferin preferred to focus on those who have not at this stage signed up for the Super League as UEFA tries to push through its own new competition format.

Reigning European champions Bayern Munich have released a statement in opposition to the Super League, while last season's beaten Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain - chasing their first title again in this year's competition - are also not involved.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will replace Agnelli as one of the European Club Association's (ECA) representatives on the UEFA executive committee.

And Ceferin picked out Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the PSG president present at the event in Switzerland, for praise.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Nasser," Ceferin said in his opening statement. "You have shown that you are a great man and that you respect football and its values.

"I also thank Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a fantastic president for the ECA, and [Lyon's] Jean-Michel Aulas, who came here today.

"But also Jose [Castro] from Sevilla, with whom I had a very reassuring discussion yesterday evening and with whom we share the same vision of football. Thank you."

United chief executive Ed Woodward and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli had been the subject of particularly scathing comments from Ceferin on Monday.

He spoke of "snakes" and said: "I have seen many things in my life. I was a criminal lawyer. I have never seen people like that."

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