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PSG president Al-Khelaifi proposes new Champions League opening ceremony

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has spoken in an interview with The Athletic in which he proposed a match between the winner and a guest team.

PSG president Al-Khelaifi proposes new Champions League opening ceremony

In an interview with The Athletic, President of PSG and the European Club Association (ECA), Nasser Al-Khelaifi, compared the Champions League final to the Superbowl final and proposed a reform of the soccer competition in which the opening match would be a ceremony between the winner and a big team.

'Champions League final should be bigger'

"The final should be bigger,” he said. “I can’t understand how the Super Bowl can feel bigger than the Champions League final. The Super Bowl, and the US generally, have this mindset, creativity and entertainment. That’s what I have suggested, to have an opening ceremony to the Champions League, to have one match on the opening night where the winners take on a big team — maybe it is not a good idea, but at least let’s challenge the status quo. Each match needs to be an event and entertainment."

Rejected Super League idea

As well as being PSG president, Al-Khelaifi is the chair of the Qatar-owned global television network BeIn Sport, the chair of the Qatar Tennis Federation and a vice-chair of the Asian Tennis Federation. The 48-year-old decided to reject the proposal to break away from the structures of European football and sign up to a Super League.

In his first speech as ECA chair last September, Al-Khelaifi lambasted the “fabulists and failures” of the Super League. Just last week, he spoke about the trio of clubs “waving around a piece of paper” and forgetting that football is a “social contract” rather than a “legal contract”.


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