The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that FIFA and UEFA, the world and European football governing bodies, were abusing their dominant position by forbidding clubs to compete in a European Super League (ESL) project.
#ECJ: The #FIFA and #UEFA rules on prior approval of interclub #football competitions, such as the Super League, are contrary to #EUlaw #EuropeanSuperleague https://t.co/ATb3CgbPxg pic.twitter.com/XCnLzwIKWb— EU Court of Justice (@EUCourtPress) December 21, 2023
The ESL was initially a proposed closed annual football competition, created by 12 European clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. The clubs argued that they wanted to create a more competitive and attractive league for their fans, but faced opposition from FIFA and UEFA, who claimed that it would undermine the integrity and diversity of European football. FIFA and UEFA also warned that any player or club taking part in the ESL would be expelled from their competitions.
The ESL project collapsed in April 2021 after a massive backlash from fans, players, clubs and governing bodies across Europe. However, the ESL decided to take FIFA and UEFA before the European Court, seeking to challenge their monopoly on organising international professional football competitions in Europe. They also asked the ECJ to rule on whether FIFA-UEFA rules were compatible with EU law.
The verdict is now in. The ECJ has ruled that FIFA and UEFA do no have a monopoly on organizing club competitions, and that their rules were not compatible with EU law.
“We have won the right to compete,” Super League CEO Bernd Reichart said. “UEFA’s monopoly has ended. Football is FREE. Now clubs will no longer suffer threats and sanctions. They are free to decide their own future.”
The European Court has officially ruled in favour of the Super League's ability to organize their own competition, and that UEFA have no right to approve or disapprove their actions, as the Courts states that UEFA do not have a monopoly on club competitions.— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) December 21, 2023
"We have won the…
Now we wait to see what the next step for the ESL is. The remaining founding members, Real Madrid and Barcelona, along with Reichart, have a chance to re-launch the project, and the clubs they pitch it to, won’t have to worry about sanctions.
Per Managing Madrid’s chief editor Kiyan Sobhani, the new proposal might be more interesting than the initial one:
This is still far away from the launch of a Super League, but does clarify something important, which is that there is a world where UEFA don't have to hold all the power on club competitions. I'm still skeptical the Super League being able to convince other clubs to join, but… https://t.co/aO4g2Mb3PB— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) December 21, 2023
The Super League is far from being created yet, but today’s ruling was a necessary step.