FIFA and UEFA acted unlawfully in blocking the creation of the European Super League (ESL), the European Union’s top court has ruled.
The court said both bodies were abusing their dominant position in the sport.
But it added its ruling does not mean that a competition such as the Super League must necessarily be approved.
The proposed league, involving 12 of Europe’s biggest clubs including six English teams, collapsed shortly after it was announced in April 2021, sparking widespread condemnation.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Manchester City were forced to pull out amid a furious backlash from rivals, fans and politicians.
A22 Sports Management, the European commercial sports development company behind the project, challenged FIFA and UEFA’s right to block the formation of the ESL and impose sanctions on competing clubs in the courts.
The firm argued football’s international and European governing bodies have an unfair monopoly and market dominance on the running of club competitions.
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The European Court of Justice, in Luxembourg, which is effectively the EU’s supreme court, handed down a written ruling today finding for A22.
It ruled that FIFA and UEFA’s rules on the prior approval of interclub competitions are contrary to EU competition law.
The binding ruling will be referred back to the Madrid commercial court, which adjudicates legal corporate disputes, where a Spanish judge ruled teams should not be punished for their involvement in the ESL.
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Source : Sky News