Ceferin re-elected UEFA president unopposed

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Aleksander Ceferin was re-elected as UEFA president unopposed during the Ordinary Congress of European soccer’s governing body in Lisbon on Wednesday.

The Slovenian has been re-elected for a four-year term until 2027.

Ceferin was elected UEFA’s seventh president in 2016 to replace Michel Platini, who was banned from soccer administration in 2015 for ethics violations and forced to quit UEFA in 2016 after losing his appeal against his ban.

The 55-year-old faced his biggest challenge in April 2021 when some of Europe’s top clubs attempted to form a European Super League.

The competition was a direct threat to UEFA’s continental club competition, the Champions League, and Ceferin called on fans, soccer federations and governments to oppose the “disgraceful, self-serving proposal”.

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In his address ahead of his re-election, Ceferin said, “European football is already global. And while we are reaping the benefits, we are also paying the price.

“There have been temptations, and even attempts, to create new models, but they conflict with the European model that we know so well and cherish so dearly.

“Our model is based on sporting merit. Where we come from, merit doesn’t have a price. Merit can’t be claimed. It can’t be acquired. It can only be earned. Season by season. On and off the pitch. There’s no room for cartels on this continent.”

Ceferin also highlighted the need to clamp down on the abuse of players.

“Football is an inclusive sport, open to everyone,” he said. “Unfortunately, some people have still not grasped this concept, which is why we’re going to have to rethink our approach.

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“We need to target offenders more effectively when a player is subjected to racist, homophobic or sexist insults during UEFA competitions. We’re here to protect the players.”

Ceferin, a lawyer, was first re-elected unopposed for a four-year term in 2019.

-Reuters

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