EU backs Fifa, Uefa in Super League in legal battle

Brussels, Dec 15 (EFE).- Proponents of the controversial Super League were dealt a blow on Thursday after the European Union’s advocate general said that Fifa and Uefa did not abuse their position in their bid to block the creation of the rival competition.

La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona and Serie A’s Juventus were the last three major European clubs to still back the creation of the breakaway Super League, which would have rivaled Uefa competitions like the Champions League and Europa League.

Nine other leading European teams, including the Premier League’s so-called “Big Six”, withdrew from the proposal following an intense backlash from players and fans after the Super League was announced in April 2021.

But Real, Barça and Juve refused to abandon the project, and took the case to the European Court of Justice, with their lawyers claiming Fifa and Uefa were abusing their positions as regulators and financial operators by blocking the creation of any rival competitions.

“The Fifa-Uefa rules under which any new competition is subject to prior approval are compatible with EU competition law,” according to the EU’s advocate general’s opinion.

The statement added that while the Super League was “free to set up its own independent football competition outside the Uefa and Fifa ecosystem, it cannot (…) continue to participate in the football competitions organized by Fifa and Uefa without the prior authorisation of those federations.”

While the opinion of advocate general Athanasios Rantos is not binding, it is widely expected that ECJ judges will agree. A final ruling is expected next year.

Football Supporters Europe, a non-profit association of fans, welcomed the ruling.

“We reiterate our opposition to any breakaway super league and call for action to rigorously protect sport in a wider context and ensure European football’s future is secure,” FSE said in a statement. EFE


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