The EU Advocate General supports UEFA in its veto of the Super League


The General Advocate of the Court of Justice of the European Union has supported this Thursday the veto of UEFA and FIFA to the organization of the Super League by a group of teams, including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, ​​considering that the decision does not violate the competition rules of the European Union.

In his opinion, while the European Super League Company is free to create its own independent football competition outside of the UEFA and FIFA ecosystem, it cannot furthermore continue to participate in football competitions organized by FIFA and UEFA. without the prior authorization of those federations.

This analysis by the European magistrate Athanasios Rantos is not binding for the CJEU, which, however, follows the line marked by these opinions in the vast majority of the sentences it issues.

In his conclusions, the general counsel considers that the restrictive effects derived from the prior authorization system applied by FIFA and UEFA are “inherent and proportionate” to achieve the “legitimate” objectives of these two organizations.

It also considers that the Community rules on competition do not prohibit FIFA or UEFA or their national federations or leagues from “threatening sanctions” to affiliated clubs in the event that they participate in a project to create a competition that “could violate the objectives” pursued by these federations.

Another point analyzed by the European lawyer are the restrictions that the FIFA statute provides for the exclusive commercialization of the rights of competitions organized by FIFA and UEFA and that, in his opinion, are also compatible with community regulations to the extent that that are inherent and proportionate to the specific nature of the sport.

The opinion responds to the complaint from the consortium of clubs that promoted the Super League — Milan, Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, ​​Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur –, who denounced in the Mercantile Court No. 17 of Madrid the possible abuse of position by UEFA and FIFA, a practice that they consider incompatible with the EU rules on free competition.

The Court has addressed the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, asking it a series of questions and asking it to examine whether certain provisions of the FIFA and UEFA statutes are in accordance with EU competition law.

Specifically, the Madrid court asks the European Justice to examine whether the FIFA and UEFA statutes could be used to undermine any private initiative that could compete with them in the field of organizing football competitions.