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UEFA suspends disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid over ESL project

Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid are known to be the mastermind behind the breakthrough European Super League project. Although the Union of European Football Associations was looking for disciplinary proceedings against them, it has been suspended for now.

UEFA suspends disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid over ESL project-ayh
Author
Nyon, First Published Jun 10, 2021, 12:08 PM IST

In what might come as a relief for three of the big European clubs, Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, the Union of European Football Associations has decided to suspend disciplinary proceedings against them. The supposed actions against them were over their attempt to form a breakthrough European tournament outside UEFA’s recognition, in the form of the European Super League.

The ESL was supposed to involve 15 founding members who would qualify for the tournament regardless of their league positioning and would not participate in the UEFA Champions League/UEFA Europa League/UEFA Europa Conference League. Twenty teams were scheduled to play every season, starting as early as the 2021-22 season. The entire project was believably the brainchild of Madrid president Florentino Pérez.

UEFA suspends disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid over ESL project-ayh

However, the concept received widespread criticisms from fans and critics all across. While it also faced severe disciplinary actions by the domestic associations and UEFA, the founding members decided to pull out and the concept was eventually scrapped for now.

“UEFA takes note of the decision taken today by the independent UEFA Appeals Body to temporarily suspend the disciplinary proceedings that had been opened against FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF for a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework in connection with the so-called ‘Super League’ project. UEFA understands why the disciplinary proceedings needed to be suspended for the time being but remains confident in and will continue to defend its position in all the relevant jurisdictions,” said UEFA in a statement.

ALSO READ: Big six to pay £20 million to English Premier League for European Super League breakthrough attempt

UEFA suspends disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid over ESL project-ayh

“The legitimacy of sports disciplinary procedures, with the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport, has long been recognised as being essential to the uniform administration of justice in sport. The European Court of Human Rights, EU Courts and the Swiss Federal Tribunal have repeatedly ruled that disciplinary/arbitration rules are justified by legitimate interests linked to the specific nature of the sport. UEFA, therefore, acted in accordance with not only its Statutes and Regulations but also with EU law, the European Convention on Human Rights and Swiss law in opening an independent investigation into the conduct of the clubs associated with this so-called ‘Super League’ project,” it added.

On Wednesday, the English Premier League also fined £22 million each to the six founding members of the ESL from England. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur were the clubs involved from England, making the nation possess the most number of sides in the project.

UEFA suspends disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona, Juventus, Real Madrid over ESL project-ayh

“The six clubs involved in proposals to form a European Super League have today acknowledged once again that their actions were a mistake and have reconfirmed their commitment to the Premier League and the future of the English game. They have wholeheartedly apologised to their fans, fellow clubs, the Premier League and The FA,” said EPL in a statement.

“As a gesture of goodwill, the clubs have collectively agreed to make a contribution of £22million, which will go towards the good of the game, including new investment in support for fans, grassroots football and community programmes. Furthermore, the clubs have agreed to support rule changes so that any similar actions in the future would lead to a 30-point deduction,” it added.

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