Spanish court: FIFA and UEFA must end Super League opposition

A Spanish judge has ordered football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA to end their opposition to a parallel European competition known as the European Super League (ESL), ruling they were engaging in anti-competitive behavior and abused their dominant position.

Judge Sofía Gil García ruled that governing bodies violated European Union law by banning clubs from participating in a proposed new professional soccer championship, a court statement said Monday.

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In this decision, Gil García also ordered FIFA and UEFA to immediately reverse any anti-competitive actions committed in the past.

The case was brought by A22 Sports Management, the sports development company behind the project to create the ESL, against the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the Spanish Liga, UEFA and FIFA, who had blocked the ESL.

“The era of monopoly is now definitively over,” A22 CEO Bernd Reichart said in a statement after the ruling, calling it “an important step towards a truly competitive and sustainable club football landscape in Europe.”

Reichart added that UEFA had stifled innovation for decades and that clubs “should not have to fear threats of sanctions just for having ideas and conversations.”

Gil García's decision followed a similar decision by the European Court of Justice in December.

La Liga and UEFA insisted the decision did not explicitly support the creation of the Super League.

“The judgment does not give third parties the right to develop competitions without authorization and does not concern any future project or even any modified version of an existing project,” UEFA said in a statement.

The 2021 proposal for a breakaway league by Europe's 12 main clubs sparked widespread protests among fans and threats of sanctions from UEFA, leading nine of them to withdraw.

A22 had said that UEFA and FIFA held a monopolistic position which violated European law on competition and free movement.

The ECJ ruled against UEFA and FIFA, without specifying whether the ESL could move forward.

real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and nine other major European clubs announced this plan in April 2021.

However, this decision failed within 48 hours, after a public outcry that forced Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan And Atletico Madrid Retract.

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