UEFA announced Wednesday it has launched a formal investigation into Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, the three clubs that haven't distanced themselves from plans related to the failed European Super League.
The Athletic provided the full statement from football's governing body in Europe:
"In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors have today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework by Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project. Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course."
UEFA reached an agreement with nine of the 12 Super League founding members last week on "reintegration measures," which included a commitment to future UEFA club tournaments and the ability to withhold five percent of revenue from the club's next appearance in UEFA competitions.
The announcement also noted the cases of Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid would be sent to its disciplinary bodies for "whatever action it deems appropriate."
Those three clubs released a joint statement Saturday in response to the threat of UEFA sanctions:
"The founding clubs have suffered, and continue to suffer, unacceptable third-party pressures, threats, and offenses to abandon the project.
"This is intolerable under the rule of law and Tribunals have already ruled in favor of the Super League proposal, ordering FIFA and UEFA to, either directly or through their affiliated bodies, refrain from taking any action which may hinder this initiative in any way while court proceedings are pending."
UEFA stood in firm opposition of the Super League, which would have put the future of the Champions League in question, from the outset and threatened to ban players who took part in ESL matches from future FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.
Amid the pressure from UEFA and the clubs' supporters, who lamented the greed from owners of the highest-profile clubs in Europe, the Super League suspended operations after just two days last month.
ESPN reported the maximum punishment for the remaining Super League founding members could be a two-year ban from the Champions League or Europa League.
UEFA didn't provide a timetable for the investigation or a final decision on the cases.