“Football belongs to no one. It has not been privatized by anyone.”

UEFA President Alexander Čeferin reminded at the UEFA Congress 2023 of the values ​​that underlie football:

“We must never forget how beautiful football is, how it awakens emotions in us, how it keeps hundreds of millions of people in suspense, how it defines our essence. European football is a unique success story. This is our society in miniature. This is European football. Beautiful. Breathtaking.

We are faced with a process of rapid globalization and everything else that follows from it. With benefits and risks. We must not forget about it. There were temptations and even attempts to create new models, but they came into conflict with the European model, which we cherish so much. Our model is based on sports principles. Where we come from, merit has no value. Merit cannot be proclaimed and cannot be acquired. They can only be earned. Season after season. On the field and beyond. There is no place for cartels on this continent. I think together we have made that clear.

This is the basis of our model. I am deeply grateful to all EU governments, including Portugal, who understood what was at stake. This was a historic demonstration of our solidarity. It is great to know that we can count on the support of the Association of European Clubs. I would like to specifically thank Nasser Al-Khelaifi for this, for defending the European model. This collaboration is important, and it’s going great.

Football is one of the last public assets that has not yet been privatized. It belongs to no one, but at the same time belongs to everyone. Players, coaches, referees, fans and volunteers. We must never forget that it is our duty to ensure that the interests of football prevail over the personal interests of a privileged few.

We must and will continue to work together. And not only in times of crisis. Because examples of sole power always ended in disappointment and tragedy. That is why UEFA has changed its approach. Clubs and leagues are represented on our Executive Committee. We have organized an annual football convention in which all interested parties participate. We have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with Fan Associations. We work in partnership with FIFA and other confederations, especially CONMEBOL. And now, thanks to a joint application [на проведение чемпионата мира]we will also strengthen cooperation with Africa.

Over the past few years, a department of women’s football has been created at UEFA, and a strategy for women’s football has been proclaimed. We have successfully reformed the Women’s Champions League and centralized media rights. We invested five times more in Women’s Euro 2022 than in Euro 2017. The revolution has already begun. Our next task is to adopt minimum standards for women’s national team players. This will certainly be an important milestone in the development of women’s football.

We must play our part in tackling the challenges of the 21st century. That is why Euro 2024 in Germany will be the greenest in history. We will try our best to lead the way and prove that our world needs to be protected.

We have no right to forget that football is an inclusive sport open to all. In cooperation with federations and clubs, we must be more effective in prosecuting offenders whenever a player is subjected to racist, homophobic or sexist abuse during UEFA matches. Maybe it’s time to move on to tougher measures.

Unfortunately, unlike goalkeepers, among the leaders, only those who do nothing do not make mistakes. None of them can boast an impeccable track record… no matter how passionate, professional or experienced they may be. There will always be a number of mistakes that will tarnish reputation, mistakes that they would like to erase. I’m not an exception. UEFA too. The most important thing is to realize the mistakes, change and next time do everything differently.

Throughout its short history, UEFA has never been afraid of reform. Today, after an extensive and exemplary dialogue with federations and all members of the European football family, we are doing our bit by introducing bold new formats for men’s club competitions from 2024, as well as a new structure for the Nations League and qualifying rounds in men’s and women’s football.

Football existed before we came and will exist when we leave. But at the moment we are responsible for him and must do everything to protect him. To protect the players. To protect the game.”

#Football #belongs #privatized

2023-04-05 17:35:00

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