By Andrew Warshaw
May 12 – The alleged role of FIFA President Gianni Infantino in helping and encouraging the formation of the ill-fated European Super League has again been catapulted into the public domain by La Liga leader Javier Tebas.
Infantino has consistently maintained his and FIFA’s staunch opposition to the doomed project in public and there is no evidence to suggest he was in any way complicit.
It is quite possible that Tebas is just doing nonsense, but some who have had access to the Super League files claim that behind the scenes the FIFA president was in favor of the idea.
Tebas, who recently became a member of the UEFA executive committee, claims to have seen documents which he says prove Infantino actively orchestrated the break-up plan.
Tebas unequivocally alleges that Infantino is the person identified as “W01” in the secret documentation.
“He’s the one behind the Super League and I’ve told him that in person before,” Tebas said.
“I have said it before and I will say it again, behind it all hides FIFA President Gianni Infantino. He pushes, says thingsâ¦”
Last month, Le Monde newspaper highlighted a document it had seen, circulated earlier this year among club leaders, which pointed out that 12 Super League clubs would participate, from the 2023-2024 season, in the a new format for the Club World Cup which would take place for three weeks a year.
For months, Infantino has defended the expanded 24-team Club World Cup, the first of which is to be held in China, claiming it will be the “best club competition in the world” as well, he said. , the most lucrative.
The suggestion that some of the ESL clubs automatically obtained entry into Infantino’s pet project will only fuel suspicions about his true goals, though there is no evidence to show Infantino is. well “WO1”.
Only three of the 12 founding members – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – refused to distance themselves from the European Super League, Real boss Florentino Perez, the driving force behind the failed project idea, insisting that the project still had legs.
Tebas, a longtime Perez critic, said the Real Madrid boss got it wrong when he staged the concept.
“I heard the president of Real Madrid say that football will be ruined in three years and that is just not true,” said Tebas. “It’s nothing personalâ¦ it’s just that what he’s presenting is another kind of football industry that is endangering the current industry and I can’t allow that to happen.”
Last weekend, Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina warned that Juventus could be sent off from Serie A if they did not officially withdraw from ESL, but Tebas argued that La Liga did not had no “regulatory capacity to sanction” Real or Barca.
“It was said by the president of the Italian FA but not by the Italian league,” Tebas said. “The federations belong to UEFA, not the leagues.”
Tebas is a late addition to a webinar panel hosted by SIGA to discuss the ESL project and its implications for football governance. The webinar, which is part of the “No Such Thing as a Crisis” series, is free. Save, Click here.
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