Players involved in European Super League will be banned from international tournaments, says FIFA
A statement of intent from FIFA
FIFA has sought to get ahead of murmurings surrounding the launch of a potential European Super League by issuing a statement, confirming that it will ban any players taking part from international tournaments.
The statement, released on Thursday morning and co-signed by the presidents of six continental federations, spells out in no uncertain terms their opposition to rumoured plans for a breakaway league.
A concept which rears its head every few years, a European Super League is reportedly something favoured by a number of Europe's elite clubs. Manchester United and Liverpool are said to be among the English clubs keen on the idea, which would see a closed off league system in which top teams face each other regularly, theoretically leading to lucrative television deals.
Critics however insist that the idea goes against the meritocratic nature of a sport which, unlike many in the United States, has a longstanding system of relegation and promotion.
Late last year, rumours emerged that a European Premier League was being discussed among the continent's top teams.
There was no suggestion that the tournament, which was touted to involve 18 European clubs, would replace the Premier League.
Nonetheless, opposition was widespread and fierce, with former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher responding to the story with a matter of fact 'Oh f*** off'.
Read the statement from FIFA and the confederations in full below:
"In light of recent media speculation about the creation of a closed European 'Super League' by some European clubs, FIFA and the six confederations (AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) once again would like to reiterate and strongly emphasise that such a competition would not be recognised by either FIFA or the respective confederation. Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by FIFA or their respective confederation.
"As per the FIFA and confederations statutes, all competitions should be organised or recognised by the relevant body at their respective level, by FIFA at the global level and by the confederations at the continental level.
"In this respect, the confederations recognise the FIFA Club World Cup, in its current and new format, as the only worldwide club competition while FIFA recognises the club competitions organised by the confederations as the only club continental competitions.
"The universal principles of sporting merit, solidarity, promotion and relegation, and subsidiarity are the foundation of the football pyramid that ensures football’s global success and are, as such, enshrined in the FIFA and confederation statutes.
"Football has a long and successful history thanks to these principles. Participation in global and continental competitions should always be won on the pitch."