By The Score More Staff & Agencies
In a significant ruling on Thursday, the European Union’s top court declared that both UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) and FIFA defied EU competition law by obstructing the proposed Super League. The decision comes after the Super League’s failed launch in April 2021 and subsequent legal action taken by the clubs involved.
The case, heard at the Court of Justice last year, saw 12 rebel clubs forming a company, now led by Real Madrid and Barcelona after Juventus withdrew, taking legal action against UEFA, accusing it of breaching European law by allegedly abusing its market dominance of soccer competitions.
The court’s ruling stated, “The FIFA and UEFA rules making any new interclub football project subject to their prior approval, such as the Super League, and prohibiting clubs and players from playing in those competitions, are unlawful.” It further emphasized the lack of transparency, objectivity, non-discrimination, and proportionality in the FIFA and UEFA rules.
While the ruling may boost the hopes of Super League promoters to revive their project, it clarified that it “does not mean that a competition such as the Super League project must necessarily be approved.” The court focused on the general aspects of FIFA and UEFA rules without specifically endorsing the Super League project.
Two years after the initial Super League idea collapsed, promoters presented a new proposal in February for a multi-division competition involving up to 80 European soccer teams, operating outside UEFA’s authority. However, English clubs remain hesitant to join such a revived plan, especially considering the U.K. government’s proposed powers to block English teams from participating in breakaway leagues.
The ruling represents a significant development in the ongoing battle between football’s governing bodies and breakaway leagues. The court’s decision echoes the sentiment that the proposed Super League, with its closed structure and lack of relegation, fundamentally contradicts the principles of European soccer, which values open competitions and the risk-reward system of promotion and relegation.