The FIFA president Gianni Infantino had said strong and precise words regarding FIFA’s opposition to the proposed breakaway league European Super League.
At the UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland he stated his reaction to the matter and he addressed the clubs involved in the project about their position in their national leagues. He said, “If some elect to go their way then they must live with the consequences of their choice, they are responsible for their choice. Concretely this means, either you are in, or you are out. You cannot be half in and half out. This has to be clear.”
Infantino had to intervene to finally address the issue amidst the escalating concern regarding the proposal of the new European league that had transformed from what was an initially harmless idea into a multinational concern in football betting.
Since its launch on April 18, 2021, the new league has met much public opposition regarding the idea of forming a new league that seeks to compete with or replace the much more established UEFA Champions League.
The proposed Super League was composed of six clubs from England (Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur), three from Spain (Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona) and three from Italy (Milan, Juventus, and Inter Milan).
Several football governing bodies, politicians, government heads, media, players, fans, and other individuals have strongly objected to the creation of the new club. They have strongly believed that the project’s further development will threaten the very foundations of association football which have established a significant cultural impact on the European nations and online football betting.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson who had held a conference meeting with the representatives of football fans stated that the British government condemned the project and his office will do its best to prevent the project from going to fruition. This is amidst the fact that half of the totality of the clubs involved are British clubs that are also popular in betting platforms like sg88win
Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of the French football club Paris Saint-Germain stated that they will not support the ESL and will continue to back up UEFA in fighting the progression of ESL.
He said, “We believe that any proposal without the support of UEFA — an organization that has been working to progress the interests of European football for nearly 70 years — does not resolve the issues currently facing the football community, but is instead driven by self-interest.”
The German clubs Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich of Bundesliga also stated that they will not participate in the ESL even though they were given an offer to sign up for the league to make up its line-up of 15 clubs.
After the backlash, Florentino Perez of Real Madrid is the only club ladder who defended ESL publicly albeit without the support of the clubs involved. Perez, the chairman of the proposed league insisted that the main goal of the new league is to revolutionize football and online sports betting, further stating that the project will salvage the football industry which is on a brink of economic collapse due to the pandemic.
Andrea Agnelli of Juventus was branded as “Judas” by Torino’s Urbano Cairo for his betrayal regarding his involvement in co-founding ESL alongside Perez threatening the Serie A. Despite the backlash, ESL founders said that the project may be too ahead of its time and they will shelf the project but not fully stop.
However, despite the withdrawal of the top English clubs involved in the ESL, fans are still not pleased, they even demanded from the owners that there must be a fan representative on the club’s board. The damage has been done and the fans were outraged by the idea of a new league with an elitist agenda and a project that is based on pure greed. This has led to the 2021 Old Trafford protest.