A court order has forced UEFA to end its attempt to ban the clubs who were involved with the now-scrapped Super League. UEFA wanted to ban FC Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, the three big clubs who mooted the breakaway continental league, from the Champions League.
A Spanish court injunction in June had forced UEFA to pause the disciplinary case against the clubs who refused to renounce the project which collapsed in April. Last week, a new order was issued by a Madrid court asking the UEFA officials to comply with the ruling to not sanction the clubs. The latest order led to the disciplinary case being officially scrapped Monday.
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“In the matter related to a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework in connection with the so called ‘Super League,’” the governing body said in a statement, “the UEFA Appeals Body has declared today the proceedings null and void, as if the proceedings had never been opened.”
UEFA launched the case after the launch of the Super League by 12 clubs in April. The plan, however, collapsed within 48 hours after the English clubs — Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester clubs United and City — pulled out amid backlash from their fans and the government. Three of the other Super League founding members — AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atlético Madrid — backed out soon after.
The nine clubs who pulled out then agreed on a settlement deal with UEFA which would see them forfeit 5% of their prize money from a single season in European competition and pay a combined 15 million euros ($18.3 million) also as a “gesture of goodwill” to benefit children, youth and grassroots football.
As a result of the court order, these fines need not be paid.
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“UEFA has informed the nine clubs that in view of the pending court proceedings in Madrid, and to avoid any unnecessary complication,” the organization said, “UEFA will not request payment of any of the amounts offered in the May declarations of the clubs, as long as the court proceedings in Madrid involving, among others, UEFA are pending.”
A Spanish judge gave UEFA five days to confirm it will abide by the court’s ruling and not punish the teams for their involvement in the Super League. Their case was also notified by the judge in Madrid to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. A deadline for submissions to the court is next month.
UEFA could open a new disciplinary case at a later point against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus if it wins the European case.
(With additions from PTI/AP)
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