The FIFA president openly regrets the Super League project but does not want sanctions against dissidents.
The Super League project is stillborn. But this project initiated by twelve of the biggest European clubs has left a mark. Indeed, the specter of a similar phenomenon in the years to come remains present, and this despite the open condemnation of UEFA and FIFA against this type of closed leagues. In an interview with L’Equipe, Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, openly condemned that such an idea no longer arose from the ground and almost saw the light of day.
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“FIFA can only firmly reject such a project if it is based on a break with international institutions. Because it is they who ensure the protection of the values of our sport, in particular solidarity, which is the central element of football. that we have had for more than a century. It allows to redistribute the income generated at the highest level up to grassroots football. So, yes, we can debate new ideas, new projects, but it must be done in the respect for institutions and without losing sight of the values that have made our sport the most popular in the world today. I think we should never have come to this, to the situation we experienced a few years ago days, on the verge of a split with unforeseeable and negative consequences for football “, explained the FIFA president.
Gianni Infantino reiterated being against this project: “I am the president of FIFA and it is my duty and my responsibility to do everything possible to protect world football and its unity. We are not here to safeguard the big clubs or the big leagues. We are here, I am here, to defend all football, all over the world. Including the big clubs and the big leagues, of course. There are situations in which you have to be uncompromising. The creation of a league closed, “separatist”, outside the structures of international football, is obviously not only unacceptable, but quite simply unimaginable. We have been very clear on this “.
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“Several times over the past twenty years, we have been close to the creation of a European Super League. Each time, thanks to dialogue and reforms, we have been able to find solutions that have ended up benefiting everyone by avoiding a rupture . A leader must also ask himself the question why we have come to this. And, starting from there, how we can build for the future all together. To do this, we must listen to everyone: the big clubs, the small ones, the leagues, the players, the federations, but above all the supporters, who are the real heart of football“, added the former UEFA general secretary.
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The FIFA president does not think that a sanction against rebellious clubs is very suitable: “Some actions should have consequences and everyone must assume their responsibilities, but … you always have to be careful when talking about sanctions. What sanctions are we talking about? It is quickly said that it is necessary to punish. It’s even popular or populist sometimes. But you also have to think about the consequences of possible sanctions: by punishing a club, for example, you are also punishing players, coaches, fans, who have nothing to do with it. It is first and foremost for the national authorities, then for the Confederations in this case UEFA, and only afterwards for FIFA to take the appropriate measures. This is how the football pyramy is built. Having said that, I always prefer to favor dialogue over conflict, even in the most delicate situations “.
Finally, he campaigns to help clubs better manage their money: “At FIFA, we are reviewing the transfer system, because it is high time to give concrete help to clubs and players. Let’s seriously discuss the introduction of salary caps, caps on transfer fees, or more ceilings on commissions paid to agents. There must be total transparency on these subjects. Let us also discuss a limitation on the number of players per team, as well as the obligation to have a certain number of locally trained players or the maximum number of matches that the best can play per season. These measures would promote the economic stability of the system, but also the competitive balance. Let us discuss, finally the international calendar and the format of the competitions. Less quantity and more quality should be our…