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France pushes for EU legislation over football Super League



PARIS — France is actively working on how to push for European legislation to protect football as top clubs threaten to set up a controversial breakaway Super League, junior minister for European affairs Clément Beaune said Tuesday. 

“We will try, even through EU law, to reinforce the financing systems of small clubs and entrench at last this European model of football, sports and popular celebration,” he told French radio franceinfo in an interview

On Sunday night, 12 top European clubs announced a breakaway football league, which has drawn political condemnation from the highest levels around Europe. 

The Elysée palace had already hinted on Monday that new EU rules would be necessary, for example through a directive. 

It’s the European Commission’s role to propose EU legislation, but Beaune said Tuesday that France would push the issue during its presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2022, if the Super League isn’t snuffed out by then. He insisted that political pressure should also lead to change first.

In a statement Monday, the Commission said it wasn’t keen on using its competition powers to settle the fight between European football’s governing body UEFA and the clubs.

But Beaune added that there was enough common ground between national rules on sports financing throughout the bloc — “based on merit and solidarity” — to aim for EU rules. “We need to act much faster than with legislation. I hope that political pressure will be exerted,” he said.

In France, Paris Saint-Germain have resisted extensive Super League lobbying to join the rebel competition, according to reports.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson told football authorities he is prepared to “drop a legislative bomb” to stop the breakaway league, the Evening Standard reported.

At a meeting with the Football Association and the Premier League, Johnson “reiterated his unwavering support for the football authorities and confirmed they have the Government’s full backing to take whatever action necessary to put a stop to these plans,” a No. 10 statement said, the Standard reported.

“The Prime Minister confirmed the Government will not stand by while a small handful of owners create a closed shop. He was clear that no action is off the table and the Government is exploring every possibility, including legislative options, to ensure these proposals are stopped.”



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