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Uefa president nod to Champions League compensation

Smaller leagues may get financial assistance if tournament spots increase for continent’s elite nations, Ceferin says

Gulf News

Ljubljana: A rejigged Champions League that favoured Europe’s bigger footballing leagues would likely include financial compensation for small and medium-sized leagues, newly-elected Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said on Saturday.

“We will certainly do something to help leagues of small and medium sizes, maybe via larger financial resources,” Ceferin said in an interview with Slovenian daily Dnevnik.

How this financing might be decided is still being studied, he added.

Ceferin, who last month succeeded Michel Platini as head of European football’s governing body after the former France captain was banned over a suspect $2 million (Dh7.3 million) payment, reiterated that the proposed reforms had not been fixed.

The European governing body announced in August that England, Spain, Italy and Germany will each be guaranteed four berths for their clubs in the tournament between 2018 and 2021.

The move was criticised by smaller European nations and although it has been ratified by Uefa’s executive committee, Ceferin suggested when he took over that the changes may not be set in stone.

“Let’s not rush to conclusions or make comments too early,” warned Ceferin, the Slovenian lawyer presenting himself as a man of “dialogue” having already met the head of the European leagues federation, Lars-Christer Olsson.

“He saw that a dialogue had started and that things would be managed differently.”