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Soccer

‘Untouchable’ Ceferin to remain on as UEFA president

The deadline for submitting candidacies for UEFA president has ended with no other options than the Slovenian, who will be re-elected on April 5 in Lisbon.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin attends the qualifying draw event for the UEFA EURO 2024 football championships, on October 9, 2022 in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photo by Daniel ROLAND / AFP)
DANIEL ROLANDAFP

Aleksander Ceferin will remain as UEFA president for four more years. The deadline for presenting candidacies ended on Thursday (5 January) with the only the Slovenian coming forward which will allow the 55-year-old to be re-elected for the third time during the UEFA General Congress on 5 April in Lisbon. During one of the last UEFA Executive Committee meetings in Frankfurt, it was announced that Ceferin had the written support of all 55 European federations, which could have potentially put off anyone who wanted to run against him.

Aleksander Ceferin
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Aleksander CeferinCaptura canal RFEF en YouTube

“In accordance with article 4 (1) of the regulations governing the implementation of the UEFA Statutes, candidates for UEFA president must be proposed to the UEFA administration in writing at least three months before the UEFA Congress, that is, before 24:00 on Thursday, 5 January, 2023″, state the electoral laws of the European football union. Since there is no other candidate, Ceferin has a free hand to be re-elected in April in Lisbon.

In recent times and especially after the breakaway Super League debacle, Ceferin has acquired added prominence as UEFA head and has shown himself to be very upright in all his decisions. He was (and is) especially belligerent with the clubs that continue to aspire to forge a breakaway tournament outside of UEFA (Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus) and earned the confidence of the European Union when defending his model. The opinion of the General Advocate of the Court of Luxembourg, although not binding, gave him support for a Super League-UEFA battle that will be fully settled in 2023, with him as president.

Ceferin has also been very tough on everything concerning the war in Ukraine. He expelled Russia from the competitions and managed to convince Spain and Portugal to admit the Ukrainians in the European bid for the 2030 World Cup. The Slovenian has also overseen the financial Fair Play reform and new Champions League format which will see more games and clubs involved with the ‘Swiss model’ format set to commence in 2025.

In his new term, Ceferin must rule on matches or tournaments being staged outside European territory with speculation growing on a Champions League final being staged in the US. He will also oversee the election of 2028 and 2032 European Championship host nations and continue to drive the promotion of women’s football and grassroots football at club and national team level.