UEFA chief set to stand for third term

Aleksander Ceferin will run for re-election at the European football governing body’s congress next year

Next year’s UEFA congress in Portugal will see President Aleksander Ceferin stand for a third term, as confirmed by the European football governing body on Saturday.

UEFA’s member associations are in Frankfurt this weekend where they discussed the future of the men’s and women’s European championships and their respective qualifying formats.

“UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin took the opportunity to personally thank all 55 associations for their letters of support for the next elections received in recent weeks, confirming officially that he will run for another mandate at the upcoming UEFA Congress in Portugal in 2023,” the organization confirmed in a statement.

Ceferin has held the post since 2016. He replaced Michel Platini after the French football legend was banned in 2015 and then lost an appeal against the ruling.

In 2019, Ceferin was re-elected for a four-year term. He has faced challenging moments in his tenure such as when a number of top European clubs attempted to form a breakaway European Super League, which threatened the future of the Champions League and domestic championships.

Ceferin called on federations, governments and fans to oppose what he described as a “disgraceful self-serving proposal.”

Though the Super League failed to get off the ground, it is still being backed by La Liga rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona and Juventus in the Italian Serie A.

Ceferin also opposed FIFA’s plans to stage the World Cup every two years and not four, and has been a key player in banning Russian clubs and teams from international tournaments as a response to the military operation in Ukraine.

UEFA confirmed this past Tuesday that Russia’s men’s team would not be included in the qualification draw for the European Championships in 2024, which takes place in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Commenting on this, Ceferin said that the decision was not made “today.”

“The decision regarding Russian national and club teams and their suspension was taken ‘until further notice’, which means that until we decide otherwise, this will remain in place,” Ceferin explained following a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee in the Croatian city of Hvar.

“That means we don’t have to take a decision whenever another competition comes up,” he added.

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