A joint statement from FIFA and UEFA has warned that footballers who play in the proposed European Super League would be effectively banned from taking part in the World Cup or European Championship, as revealed in a tweet by Rob Harris.
Tensions have been growing ever since the idea for a breakaway league was first conceived, with the governing bodies strongly opposed.
Directors of the European Leagues body have criticised what they say is "the initiative of some European football clubs to create a closed European Super League for a limited number of clubs similar to those franchise models operating in north America."
Concerns over a breakaway
— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) January 21, 2021
The competition in question would theoretically replace the Champions League, with the sides invited battling out for the new title without fear of relegation.
While on paper such an idea may sound quite thrilling, the current format of European football – qualification, knockout stages and so on – is a big part of why so many viewers find it so exciting.
To lump the top sides into a breakaway league would not only damage domestic football, potentially beyond repair, but it would also undermine the attraction of European competition.
Personally, we wouldn’t want to be playing the likes of Barcelona, PSG and Anderlecht every single week – the current mix of football, while requiring some tweaks, is more than suitable.
UEFA and FIFA’s joint ultimatum could potentially turn the tide in their favour, however, there is the risk that players may simply take their chances on the matter and test the governing bodies’ resolve.
After all, would it be in their best interest to have a World Cup or European Championship without the best players available?
This could very quickly turn into a ‘who blinks first’ scenario, and we can only hope that the governing bodies have the patience to hold out.