World football governing body FIFA have warned that players who feature in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from playing in FIFA competitions, including the World Cup.
The idea of a breakaway league, as an alternative to UEFA’s flagship Champions League, has been floated for many years, but speculation has intensified in the past two years.
In November 2018, German magazine Der Spiegel, citing leaked documents, reported that Real Madrid had been making plans for a Super League to feature the continent’s biggest clubs.
Although a number of those clubs denied they were in talks, Real president Florentino Perez has continued to talk of the need for major changes in European club competition.
In October, outgoing Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said he had signed the club up to a Super League.
In a joint statement with European governing body UEFA and the other five continental confederations on Thursday, FIFA said it would not recognise any such breakaway.
“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,” the statement said.
“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,” said FIFA.
It effectively means any player at a club in the European Super League would be banned from international football. They would not be able to represent their country in the World Cup or World Cup qualifiers, while confederations would also ban them from playing in continental tournaments like the European Championship, Copa America, CONCACAF Gold Cup and UEFA Nations League.
By Ofhani Munyai