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European Court of Justice rules against FIFA and UEFA over Super League

UEFA no longer have a monopoly on club competitions

Desayunos Informativo Forum Europa - Superliga Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

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.

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.”

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:

The Super League is far from being created yet, but today’s ruling was a necessary step.

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