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UEFA weighs Super League revenge and changing Euro host cities

Sticking the boot in: fans and some UEFA officials want the Super League clubs punished

UEFA meets on Friday with revenge on some members’ minds following the attempted Super League breakaway, while the fate of a handful of European Championship host cities is also on the agenda.

In the space of 48 hours, between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening, European football’s governing body, aided by fans and politicians, quelled a mutiny by 12 English, Spanish and Italian clubs who presumed to form their own quasi-closed tournament which would have threatened UEFA’s own Champions League and the federation’s governance of the game.

Their setback showed money does not inevitably win in football and some want to make sure that the defeated big clubs fall as hard as possible.

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“I can’t go into details, we are discussing it with our legal department,” he said.

Another UEFA member, Javier Tebas, the president of the Spanish Liga, urged restraint.

“The most important thing is these clubs have been sanctioned by their own fans. The sanction is the blow to their reputations.”

Andrea Agnelli, Juventus boss and one of the promoters of the Super League, relinquished both the presidency of the European Club Association (ECA) and his seat on the UEFA executive committee.

Another executive committee member whose club refused to join the rebels, Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, took over the powerful ECA reins.

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UEFA’s executive committee approved a new format for the Champions League which had been proposed before news of the uprising broke.

In England, meanwhile, a wholesale review of the way English football is run that was ordered after the Super League debacle will consider creating a new regulator and changing the “fit and proper person test” for owners.

In the immediate future, UEFA has to finalise the organisation of the Euros, postponed from last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and due to start on June 11 in 12 cities, each in a different country.

The three holdouts, Bilbao, Dublin and Munich, have been threatened with losing their matches.

On Wednesday evening, however, the Basque organisers said that they had received a letter from UEFA saying Bilbao was being replaced.

Basque officials said they are considering legal action to recover the 1.2 million euros ($1.4 million) they had spent.

The Irish government, concerned by the high numbers of Covid cases in the country, is not at all optimistic about hosting fans at matches in Dublin.

Budapest, St Petersburg, Baku, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Rome and London have all promised crowds at between 25 per cent and 100 per cent of capacity.

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