Zazzaroni: UEFA and FIFA have lost monopoly over football

Prominent sports journalist Ivan Zazzaroni has commented on the European Court of Justice’s recent ruling on the Super League, as reported in Corriere dello Sport.

Zazzaroni noted that as of 21st December 2023, UEFA and FIFA had lost their football monopoly. He stated, “From yesterday, if clubs want to leave the ecosystem, they can do so and create their own transnational competitions within the ecosystem, without being discriminated against by UEFA.”

The journalist suggested that UEFA must provide fair market access as long as the competitions meet essential requirements. He highlighted that if there’s a refusal, clubs can appeal before a judge of the European Union for a review. He added that the European Court of Justice affirmed clearly that the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne does not have the margin to intervene because its decisions can’t be nullified.

Mr Zazzaroni reminisced about being the first to break the news of the Super League’s birth on 18th April 2021. His report changed the fragmented presentation of the competition, which also led to its apparent demise.

The original tournament was to feature Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona. However, the English clubs withdrew after being reportedly advised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with other clubs also pulling out. This left only Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona representing the Super League.

But it took over two years for the Court of Justice to pronounce its verdict, which recognised UEFA and FIFA’s abuse of dominant position and legitimised competitions parallel to those organised by continental federations. Mr Zazzaroni concluded, “The FIFA and UEFA rules on the prior approval of interclub football competitions, like the Super League, are contrary to EU law.”

The recent court ruling has reignited conversations about the Super League and its potential role in the future of European football.

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