French and German clubs show their opposition to the reform

The project "should not be applied in this form," says the German Football League. The French Federation and the Professional Football League want to submit an alternative proposal to UEFA.

The World with AFP Posted today at 17h37, updated at 19h04

Time to Reading 2 min.

Christian Seifert, the president of the German Football League, does not mean that the national championships "rich in their tradition, which interest millions of people across the continent, are endangered".
Christian Seifert, the president of the German Football League, does not mean that the national championships "rich in their tradition, which interest millions of people across the continent, are endangered". MICHAEL DALDER / REUTERS

The opposition of the various European national football championships to the reform project of the Champions League is becoming stronger and more structured. On Wednesday, May 15, the French and German leagues have each expressed their disagreement against the new framework that the European Association of Football Clubs (ECA) – led by the big clubs – and UEFA want to set up for the start of the 2024 .

The French Football Federation (FFF) and the Professional Football League (LFP) have announced that they will submit to UEFA from here "Eight to ten days" an alternative proposal to the reform. "In the federation, we have worked in recent days to try to convince a number of people to work on a proposal to amend this UEFA project"explained the head of the FFF, Noël Le Graët. This proposal will now be "Examined by the Presidents of Ligue 1 and the (LFP) before submitting it to UEFA within eight to ten days ".

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Abstentions of PSG, Lyon and Marseille

The president of the federation was speaking after an exceptional general meeting of French clubs in Paris: "16 Ligue 1 clubs and 17 Ligue 2 clubs were there", said the president of the LFP, Nathalie Boy de La Tour.

Two votes took place at the end of this general assembly. The clubs first voted against the reform presented by UEFA with three notable abstentions, those of PSG, Lyon and Marseille. PSG "Was extremely correct", however, emphasized Noël Le Graët. The clubs then approved "Unanimous manner" the idea of ​​an alternative proposal of the federation and the league, said Didier Quillot, general manager of the LFP.

Read also Reform of the Champions League: French football clubs in the heart of the slingshot

Thirty-six German professional clubs, gathered in a general assembly, have on their side "Unanimously" denounced the draft reform Wednesday. The German Football League (DFL) wrote in a statement:

"The concept of the European Association of ECA Clubs currently under discussion would have unacceptable consequences for national leagues in Europe and should not be applied in this form. "

Read also our editorial: Against the locking of European football

A semi-closed league system

On Wednesday, May 8, UEFA confirmed to the national leagues that it wants to evolve the European flagship competition to a semi-closed league system, with 24 teams out of 32 automatically renewed from one season to another.

In its new structure, the Champions League would include a group phase consisting of four groups of eight teams, fourteen games in the first round for each club, against six currently, and probably meetings to play on Saturdays or Sundays. The LFP and the FFF fear that this project removes any challenge to national competitions and undermines the economic model of French football, including television rights.

Read also Reform of the Champions League: the Grail of TV Rights

The DFL is also worried about both calendar incompatibilities and the difficulty of access to the Champions League for smaller clubs. "We must not allow national leagues rich in their tradition, which interest millions of people across the continent, to be endangered."said its president, Christian Seifert. Mr Seifert had already announced a few weeks ago that the DFL was ready to take legal action if UEFA were planning Champions League matches this weekend, in competition with the Bundesliga days.

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