Fifa president Gianni Infantino says his organisation strongly disapproves of a breakaway European Super League and has warned those clubs involved will have to “live with the consequences of their choice”.
So far 12 clubs have signed up for the new Super League, with president Florentino Perez confirming on Monday night that those involved signed binding contracts on Saturday.
The news has sent shockwaves throughout football, with Uefa stating their desire to impose swift sanctions, which could include throwing Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid out of this season’s Champions League and Arsenal and Manchester United out of the Europa League.
Uefa’s president Aleksander Ceferin has also warned thatplayers could be banned from competing for their countries at European Championships and World Cups if they play for one of the new Super League clubs.
Infantino, who was speaking at a meeting of Uefa Congress in Switzerland on Tuesday morning, stopped short of making that direct threat, but confirmed that Fifa oppose the new Super League and warned clubs must face the consequences if they break away.
“We can only strongly disapprove the creation of the Super League, a Super League which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA and from FIFA,” he said.
“There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this. If some elect to go their own way, then they must live with the consequences of their choice. They are responsible for their choice.
“Concretely, this means either you are in or you are out. You cannot be half in or half out. Think about it, everyone has to think about it, and this has to be absolutely clear.”
Infantino urged clubs to think “very carefully” and to also listen to fans. He also warned that no relegation or promotion could damage “the magic of football”, recounting his days of playing in the bottom tier of Swiss football and dreaming of going higher.
The Fifa president, who gave his full support to Uefa, added: “If you look at all this, we can see there is a lot to throw away for maybe a short-term financial gain of some.”
Infantino’s speech came after Real Madrid president Perez on Monday night explained the reasons behind the launch of the new Super League.
Speaking on Spanish TV show El Chiringuito de Jugones, he said it had been created “to save football” and insisted that money would trickle down from this new competition to help other clubs.
Perez claimed that too many young people were “no longer interested in football” because of “a lot of poor quality games”.
The Super League’s new president was also bullish about the prospect of clubs being thrown out of this season’s Champions League and players being banned from featuring at European Championships and World Cups.
“It will not happen, the law protects us. We will not get into legal issues. It is impossible,” he said.
“Every player can remain absolutely calm because that’s not going to happen. Very calm, that’s not going to happen.”