KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Super League clubs still in European competition might be kicked out of this season’s tournaments and players from all 12 might be barred from playing in the European Championship finals in June and July.
This possibility was held out by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin as the punishment for anyone involved with the rebel clubs whose defiance exploded the European game at the weekend.
The players would find themselves caught innocently in the legal crossfire.
Such disciplinary action, if UEFA’s legal department believes it appropriate, could see Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid expelled from the Champions League semi-finals with Manchester United and Arsenal kicked out of the Europa League.
Beyond that some of the most outstanding footballers in Europe risk being barred from the Euro 2020 finals: these would include many of the stars of England, Italy and Spain as well as Belgium’s Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City) and Romelu Lukaku (Internazionale) plus France’s Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) and Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona).
Ceferin told a media briefing, after a meeting of the UEFA executive committee ahead of Tuesday’s congress: “The players who will play in the teams that might play in the closed league will be banned from playing the World Cup and Euro so they will not be able to represent their national teams at any matches.
“We are still assessing the [timing] situation with our legal team. We will take all the sanctions that we can.
“My opinion is that as soon as possible the clubs have to be banned from our competitions and their players from our competitions.”
Danish federation president Jesper Moller, a member of the UEFA exco, was more forthright than Ceferin.
He said domestic television: “The clubs must go, and I expect that to happen at our extraordinary meeting on Friday. Then we have to find out how to finish (this season’s) Champions League tournament.”
Ceferin responded to a question about the issue of European competition law by saying: “If anything goes against all the competition laws in the world then it’s the Super League. We might be naïve not to have known that we had some snakes close to us but we will have legal actions soon.”