UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin has said there is a ‘small possibility’ that next week’s Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Chelsea may not go ahead as punishment for their roles in the European Super League saga.
The two clubs were part of the 12 European giants who announced their intention to form a controversial breakaway competition, which they referred to in the announcement as the Super League.
However, after huge protests from fans, players, managers, and pundits, plans for the breakaway league were suspended.
Discussions are currently ongoing as to what punishment the 12 clubs, which included all of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’, three clubs from Spain and three from Italy, would face for their role in the scheme.
Three of the 12 clubs, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Real Madrid – are still in the Champions League while Arsenal and Manchester United are competing in the Europa League semi-finals.
The clubs might be disqualified from the competition, especially as Real Madrid have not formally withdrawn from the Super League.
UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, who called the breakaway group ‘snakes’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘greedy’ in recent days, has admitted there is a small possibility’ the semi-finals will not go ahead but warned broadcasting firms could UEFA for damages if the matches are not played.
‘The key is that this season has already started, so broadcasters would come at us for damages if we don’t play the semi-finals,’ he said on Slovenian TV channel 24UR.
‘So, there’s a relatively small possibility that this match isn’t played next week. But, things could be a little different in the future.’
When asked about Real Madrid president Florentino Perez’s outburst on Wednesday night, in which he said he would never want a UEFA president like Ceferin, the Slovenian replied: ‘Well, that’s more incentive for me to stay.
‘He wants a president who obeys whatever he says, who listens to him, and who does what he thinks. I do what I think is good for European and world football.’
Perez has refused to back down in his push for the Super League project and insists anyone who thinks the project is dead is ‘completely wrong’.
In an interview with El Larguero’s Manu Carreno, Perez, who was also the president of the Super League, claimed a smear campaign was created to oppose the plans after fierce backlash across Europe.
‘I am a bit sad, disappointed,’ he started. ‘We have been working three years on this project, on fighting the current financial situation in Spanish football. It is easy to understand – you cannot touch LaLiga, so you look for more money midweek.
‘The leagues are sacred. What we can change is the midweek games. The Champions League is obsolete – it’s only interesting from the quarter-finals onwards.
‘Among the 12 teams we lost €650million last season. This season two or three more times. This format clearly does not work.