European football’s main governing body is looking into three clubs’ connection with the breakaway project as they continue to resist dropping out
UEFA has opened a formal investigation into Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus’ involvement in the controversial Super League.
A group of 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs signed up for a new continental competition designed to rival the Champions League last month, but plans for a potential August start date had to be scrapped after a fierce backlash in the media.
Nine of the founding teams withdrew from the project amid the intense pressure from across the football spectrum, but Real, Barca and Juve remain on board, with UEFA now set to look into whether any of the three clubs are guilty of a disciplinary breach.
What’s been said?
A statement from European football’s main governing body reads: “In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework by Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project.
“Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course.”
Real, Barca and Juve’s current stance
The only three clubs left in the Super League spoke out to criticise FIFA and UEFA over the collapse of the breakaway plans last weekend, while also vowing to continue to push for change at the very highest level of the game.
“The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offences to abandon the project and therefore desist from their right and duty to provide solutions to the football ecosystem via concrete proposals and constructive dialogue,” said a joint statement from Real, Barca and Juve.
“This is intolerable under the rule of law and tribunals have already ruled in favour of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending.
“Furthermore, we reiterate to FIFA, UEFA and all football stakeholders, as we have done on several occasions since the announcement of the Super League, our commitment and determination to discuss, with respect and without intolerable pressure and in accordance with the rule of law, the most appropriate solutions for the sustainability of the whole football family.”
What punishment could the three clubs face?
UEFA president Alexander Ceferin vowed to impose serious sanctions on any clubs refusing to withdraw from the Super League in April, warning that players could even be banned from participating in the World Cup and European Championship.
“We are all united against this nonsense of a project,” he said. “Cynical plan, completely against what football should be. We cannot and will not allow that to change.”
Juve have also been threatened with expulsion from Serie A if they fail to turn their back on the Super League, with the head of the Italian Football Association, Gabriele Gravina, telling Radio Kiss Kiss earlier this week: “The rules are clear. If Juventus is still part of the Super League when it enters next season, it can’t participate in Serie A.
“I would be sorry for the fans but rules are rules and they apply to everyone. I hope this holdout ends soon.”
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