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On Sunday night, 12 of Europe’s top clubs including the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham announced plans to establish a breakaway league to begin “as soon as practicable.”
The controversial plans - which also involve LaLiga clubs Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Serie A trio Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan and were announced the day before changes to the Champions League were set to be unveiled - have been met with almost universal condemnation from governing bodies, leagues, supporter groups, pundits and government figures alike.
Uefa, the Premier League and the Football Association (FA) are united with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A in a bid to stop the “cynical project” from happening, while the European Clubs’ Association (ECA) are also firmly against the plans.
World football governing body Fifa have now also released a statement to voice their disapproval regarding a “closed European breakaway league” that exists outside of international football structures and does not reflect the values of the game.
“In view of several media requests and as already stated several times, FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA,” Fifa said.
“In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution.
“Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case. Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a "closed European breakaway league" outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.
“FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play. FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.”