FAI President: "Integrity of the game is at stake"

McAnaney hit out at the breakaway Super League group and pledged the Association's support to UEFA's fight against the plans.
FAI President: "Integrity of the game is at stake"

FAI President Gerry McAnaney is attending the UEFA Congress in Switzerland

FAI President Gerry McAnaney has this morning slammed the proposed European Super League.

Speaking from the UEFA Congress in Switzerland, FAI President McAnaney hit out at breakaway group and pledged the Association's support to UEFA's fight against the plans.

McAnaney said: "The integrity of the game is at stake here and such an elitist competition cannot be considered.

“I have confirmed to UEFA that we stand with them in their stance against this Super League proposal.

His comments came after Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said the six Premier League clubs (Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham) planning on a breakaway European Super League had made a "huge mistake".

The Slovenian criticised the attitude of owners who he said view the game as a "product" and fans as "consumers".

"I would like to address the owners of some English clubs," said Ceferin.

"Gentlemen, you made a huge mistake. Some will say it is greed, others disdain, arrogance or complete ignorance of England's football culture, but actually it doesn't matter. What matters is that there is still time to change your mind, everyone makes mistakes. English fans deserve to have you correct your mistake, they deserve respect."

Earlier Fifa president Gianni Infantino says clubs "must live" with their choices.

If some elect to go their own way, they must live with consequences of their choice," said Infantino.

"They are responsible for their choice completely. This means you are either in or you are out. You cannot be half in and half out. Think about it. Everyone has to think about it. This has to be absolutely, absolutely clear."

Meanwhile the FAI has again assured UEFA of its support for the proposed new format for European club competitions from 2024 onwards. FAI Chief Executive Jonathan Hill first wrote to UEFA’s Director of National Associations Zoran Lakovic in February and then again at the beginning of April confirming the FAI’s backing for UEFA’s proposals regarding all their club competitions from 2024 onwards. These proposals have now been approved by the UEFA Executive Committee.

CEO Hill remarked: “I said to Zoran then and I repeat now that whilst we recognise this may cause some local challenges for certain Federations in terms of scheduling, we believe that the now agreed approach is essential for the future of UEFA, the wider European football pyramid structure and the future financial health of all European constituents including Associations such as the FAI who will continue to benefit from that pyramid and from key UEFA solidarity payments which have been maintained during difficult recent times for football.” 

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