Super League Clubs to Be 'Held Responsible' for Proposal, Per UEFA President

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2021

FILE - In this March 3, 2020 file photo UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin looks up during a meeting of European soccer leaders at the congress of the UEFA governing body in Amsterdam's Beurs van Berlage, Netherlands. The 12 European clubs pursuing a Super League have told the leaders of FIFA and UEFA that legal action is already being pursued to stop them from action intended to thwart the launch of the breakaway competition, according to a letter obtained Monday by The Associated Press. The letter was sent by the group of English, Spanish and Italian clubs to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UEFA counterpart Aleksander Ceferin saying the Super League has already been underwritten by funding of 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) from a financial institution. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Even if the Super League plans have gone awry, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin vows to punish the 12 teams involved in the initial project. 

"Everyone has to take consequences for what they did and we cannot pretend nothing happened," Ceferin told Rob Draper of the Daily Mail. "You cannot do something like that and just say: 'I've been punished because everybody hates me.' They don't have problems because of anyone else but themselves. It's not OK what they did and we will see in next few days what we have to do."

The Super League was initially announced last Sunday featuring 12 of the biggest clubs in Europe forming a breakaway league. It was met with massive backlash from fans, especially with the six Premier League clubs of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

The six clubs announced they were withdrawing from the league less than two days after it was formed. Atletico Madrid and Inter have since announced they would not go forward with the plan.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the league was on "stand-by." He also said Juventus and AC Milan have not yet backed out while Barcelona are "thinking about it."

Ceferin said there will be punishment regardless but would take into account when teams made their decisions:

"For me it’s a clear difference between the English clubs and the other six. They pulled out first, they admitted they made a mistake. You have to have some greatness to say: 'I was wrong.' For me there are three groups of this 12 — the English Six, who went out first, then the other three [Atletico Madrid, AC Milan, Inter] after them and then the ones who feel that Earth is flat and they think the Super League still exists. And there is a big difference between those. But everyone will be held responsible. In what way, we will see."

After the initial unveiling of Super League, UEFA said teams involved would be banned from participating in European competition while the players wouldn't be allowed to compete for their national teams in the World Cup.

The forthcoming sanctions could include a ban for the clubs involved in the 2021-22 Champions League.