NYON: European federation UEFA, as expected, has confirmed Theodore Theodoridis to step up as acting general secretary in place of the departed, newly-elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the UEFA executive committee which also decided to use goal-line technology at the finals of the Champions League and Europa League in May.
UEFA, which had opposed GLT under banned president Michel Platini, had already approved its use at the European Championship finals in France in June and July in tandem with the UEFA-unique additional assistant referees system.
Theodoridis, a 50-year-old Greek citizen, had been Infantino’s deputy since October 2010, having joined UEFA in 2008 in the national associations division.
The appointment of a permanent new general secretary must wait until the presidential muddle has been resolved.
Frenchman Platini, banned from football last December for six years for misconduct in office as a FIFA vice-president, appealed this week to the Court of Arbitration, sport’s supreme court.
UEFA has remained publicly resolute in support of Platini, stating a public belief in his insistence of innocence. Hence it has not even nominated an acting president, let alone discussed an election for a successor.
However unease is growing among some federations – notably Germany, ironically, considering its own problems – about a power vacuum in an important years which will see negotiations for a new three-year TV, sponsor and revenue division agreement with the clubs over the two European competitions.
Already European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and leading English clubs have dropped heavy, threatening hints about the possibility of a breakaway superleague.
While this talk is considered within UEFA as a mere negotiating ploy, the organisation’s ability to stand firm has been weakened by the absence of effective leadership.
UEFA has an ordinary congress sceduled for the start of May while Platini hopes to have cleared his name to reassume the presidency in time for Euro 2016.
It is unlikely that a CAS hearing and verdict can be delivered before then.
However UEFA’s legal department advised that, should Platini be unsuccessful in his CAS plea, then procedural short-cuts could be adopted to elect a new president at high speed.
Theodoridis said: “Whenever there is a (CAS) decision, we can hold immediately a meeting of the executive committee meeting and go through an accelerated process for an election.”
** Kosovo’s application to become UEFA’s 55th member will be put to the vote aT uefa congress in Budapest on May 3.