Aleksander Ceferin says defeating Super League was 'most significant victory' of 2021

Jude Summerfield
Ceferin is the president of UEFA
Ceferin is the president of UEFA / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has claimed defeating the proposed Super League was the governing body's biggest victory of 2021.

Europe's elite clubs attempted to join a new competition in April 2021 but its announcement was greeted with widespread and instant criticism, with fans hating the elitism and closed nature of the competition.

Almost all the teams quickly announced their withdrawals following severe public backlash. There remains the need for the football calendar to be revised - with plans for a World Cup every two years gaining momentum - but Ceferin says the rejection of the Super League was an important moment.

He wrote on UEFA's website: "Over the past 12 months, every member of our community has made a telling contribution to these standout successes - national associations, players, domestic leagues, clubs, coaches, match officials, fans, our partners and the media.

"However, our most significant achievement deserves more recognition – protecting the European sports model that guides the mission of UEFA, its member associations and countless other sporting organisations. Based on a pyramid structure that connects grassroots football at the bottom to elite clubs at the top, the model works on a double premise. Not only is revenue from professional competitions reinvested across the game; clubs are also promoted or relegated on sporting merit.

"Last April’s ill-fated attempt to launch a closed ‘super league’, which focused only on filling the bank accounts of a few clubs, threatened values that lie at the very heart of the European sports model and UEFA’s mission. Its demise, driven by political and popular condemnation from across the continent, was our most significant, shared victory in 2021.

"I would like to extend my personal gratitude to each of you for standing with UEFA at such a challenging moment. Your support has ensured that all our achievements, for years to come, will continue to build a sustainable future for football in Europe."

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus remain keen to create a new competition in Europe, though given the ferocity with which the idea was rejected by fans it's hard to see how it would materialise.

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