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UEFA supremo: Barcelona, Real Madrid & Juventus ‘paralysed themselves’ with ‘strange’ Super League approach

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin during a press conference REUTERS-Yves Herman-File Photo

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus have “paralysed themselves” with their “strange” approach to the Super League, according to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

A controversial proposal for a new competition to rival the Champions League was met with universal condemnation in April, leading to the withdrawal of nine of the original 12 founding clubs.

The Super League plans were subsequently put on hold, but Barca, Real and Juve have vowed to continue pushing for change despite being threatened with serious sanctions by UEFA, who are in the process of investigating their involvement in the breakaway.

The three remaining clubs released a statement criticising European football’s main governing body last week, which read: “FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF wish to express their absolute rejection of the insistent coercion that UEFA has been maintaining towards three of the most relevant institutions in the history of football.

“The opening of disciplinary proceedings by UEFA is incomprehensible and is a direct attack against the rule of law that we, the citizens of the European Union, have democratically built up, while constituting a lack of respect toward the authority of the courts of justice themselves.

“Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, all of them more than a century old, will not accept any form of coercion or intolerable pressure, while they remain strong in their willingness to debate, respectfully and through dialogue, the urgent solutions that football currently needs.

“Either we reform football or we will have to watch its inevitable downfall.”

Ceferin has been outspoken in his opposition towards the Super League right from the very beginning, and he cannot understand why Barca, Juve and Real continue to ignore the public outcry while risking their current status in the European game.

“They paralysed themselves with the approach they took,” the UEFA chief told Sky Italia.

“It’s strange to read press releases that the three clubs out of thousands of clubs think their idea will save football and nobody else likes it.”

Ceferin has previously stated that players from the three remaining clubs could be banned from international competition if they do not pull out of the Super League, while Juve have been threatened with expulsion from Serie A by the head of the Italian Football Association, Gabriele Gravina.

It has also been suggested that they will not be able to participate in the Champions League, but Ceferin insists UEFA’s investigation must run its course before any formal punishment can be given out.

“Our disciplinary committee is independent so the moment they start to work on a case, I don’t have a reach or information there,” the Slovenian added.

“I don’t know when, if or how the sanctions would be. For me what is strange is that you publish you are still part of the Super League and then you send a letter applying to play in the Champions League.

“So you are in Super League but play Champions League. It’s quite hard to understand what they mean. They should call us, send us a letter, ask for a meeting.

“They just sent some press releases saying they want to have a dialogue. It’s quite a strange approach.”

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