FIFA

World Cup ban for breakaway 'Super League' players

FIFA and its six confederations, including UEFA, has reiterated that such a competition would not be recognised and therefore players could not feature.

World Cup ban for breakaway 'Super League' players

World soccer's governing body FIFA says players who feature in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.

FIFA, UEFA and others warn Super League instigators

In a joint statement with European governing body UEFA and the other five continental confederations on Thursday, FIFA said they would not recognise any such breakaway.

"In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European "Super League" by some European clubs, FIFA and the six confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasize that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation.

"Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation," they added.

Andrea Agnelli, President of Juventus FC, Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona and Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid CF (24/01/17)

Andrea Agnelli, President of Juventus FC, Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona and Florentino Perez, President of Real Madrid CF (24/01/17)

The idea of a breakaway league, as an alternative to UEFA's flagship Champions League, has been floated for many years but speculation has intensified in the past two years.

In November 2018, German magazine Der Spiegel, citing leaked documents, reported that Real Madrid had been making plans for a Super League to feature the continent's biggest clubs.

Although a number of those clubs denied they were in talks, Real president Florentino Pérez has continued to talk of the need for major changes in European club competition.

In October outgoing Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said he had signed the club up to a Super League.

"The board of directors approved the requirements to participate in a future European Super League, a project promoted by the big clubs in Europe," he said.

On Monday, Real's Pérez travelled to Turin to meet Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, who is head of the European Clubs Association (ECA) which represents the biggest teams on the continent.

Thursday's joint statement also gave clear backing from UEFA and the other confederations to the plans for an expanded FIFA Club World Cup.

"As per the FIFA and confederations statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the confederations at the continental level.

"In this respect, the confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions," the statement said.