BAKU: Veteran French football official Noel Le Graet has been rushed in to the FIFA Council by European federation as a substitute for Germany’s Reinhard Grindel writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Grindel, 57, quit as DFB president in April after revelations about a lack of clarity over his earnings and his acceptance of a luxury watch.
He decided also to step down from his role as a member of the UEFA executive committee and as a delegate from the European federation on the governing council of the world federation.
This left UEFA with seven representatives on FIFA Council ahead of its meeting in Paris on the eve of the world game’s congress on June 5.
Thus UEFA’s executive committee decided in Baku, hours before Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat of Arsenal in the Europa League Final, to fill that gap with the emergency appointment of Le Graet. Spain’s Luis Rubiales took over the UEFA vice-presidency slot vacated by Grindel.
In March 2017 Le Graet, now 77, was re-elected for four years as president of the French federation after a bad-tempered campaign.
Le Graet, a former president of the French senior league, took over the FFF originally after the resignation of Jean-Pierre Escalattes following the national team’s implosion at the 2010 World Cup.
He has been a voluble critic of proposals to expand the Champions League and also of FIFA’s attempt to reconstruct its own four-yearly, 24-team Club World Cup.
In other decisions:
*The UEFA exco has decided to request that FIFA and law-making body IFAB review the current concussion protocol and consider potential changes – such as substitutions – to reduce the pressure on the medical staff and give doctors more time to assess a potential concussion off the pitch, so that no concussed player returns to the field of play.
* The Gamla Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, was appointed as the host venue for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2021;
* UEFA disciplinary regulations now include the possibility for national associations or clubs to invite free of charge children up to the age of 14 from schools or football academies to attend matches being played behind closed doors;
* The UEFA Executive Committee agreed to test a new system for the European Under-19 Championships from 2020 to 2023, based on a system with promotion and relegation between three tiers, similar to the UEFA Nations League.
* The access list for club competitions 2020-21 includes the principle that all associations below position 50 of the ranking (51 to 55) be permanently allocated two spots in the UEFA Europa League.
* The exco approved a specific policy regarding countries not recognising Kosovo, except for those cases where an exclusion has been decided by the UEFA Executive Committee on security grounds (currently Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina).
Teams which cannot host Kosovo clubs or national teams on their territory may request to organise their home match on neutral ground. However, they will have to accept to play away matches in Kosovo.
*UEFA’s next exco meeting will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Tuesday 24 September 2019.