LISBON: Portugal is the latest European football federation to come out in support of Slovenia’s Aleksander Ceferin in Wednesday’s election for a new president of European governing body UEFA.

Portuguese president Fernando Gomes, while acknowledging the qualities of rival Dutch candidate Michael Van Praag, said in a statement that the withdrawal from the race of Spain’s Angel Villar had led to the latest endorsement of Ceferin.

The Ceferin cause has been strengthened by anger among Europe’s middle ranking and small nations over what they consider to have been a coup led by the big clubs within UEFA for the new Champions League deal on both revenue split and structural control.

Last week England’s Football Association and Belgium threw their weight behind Van Praag.

UEFA is in urgent need of new leadership after almost year in stasis since the initial suspension of Michel Platini over financial misconduct within world federation FIFA of which he was also a vice-president.