KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: UEFA is to forge ahead regardless with its plan for an expanded Champions League from 2024.
Attending members of the executive committee voted unanimously in Nyon, near Geneva, in favour of the new concept which would see clubs play 10 matches in a unified table in the first stage instead of the current six.
UEFA’s own plan was controversial enough when unveiled earlier this year but the tremors back then were as nothing compared with the earthquake which erupted with Sunday night’s Super League revelations.
Aleksander Ceferin, the president of UEFA, emerged from the exco meeting to launch a furious, no-holds-barred attack on the rebel 12 after “this extraordinary situation which developed during the night.”
Ceferin said: “I cannot stress more strongly that UEFA and the football world stand united against the disgraceful, self-serving proposal from a select few clubs in Europe, fuelled purely by greed, above all else,
“Not only is the football world united but governments are united. It’s part of our culture. We are all united against this nonsense of a project.
“We have the English football association, the Spanish federation, Italian federation, Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A and all our 55 member associations united in opposition to these cynical plans that are against what football should be.
“Our game has become the greatest sport in the world based on open competition, on sporting merit and we will never allow that to change . . . this idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers and our society as well.”
Ceferin, expressing his anger as an attempt “to steal football from our society” underlined the risk of disciplinary action against not only the rebel clubs but their players.
He said: “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.”