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The Court of Justice of the European Union has declared that FIFA and UEFA lack the authority to prevent clubs from participating in the Super League.

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When the Super League was initially revealed in 2021, both UEFA and FIFA cautioned that players and clubs opting for the Super League could face bans from their existing competitions. Founding members included Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Juventus, and Real Madrid. However, severe backlash led nine of these clubs to withdraw within days.

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Although Juventus withdrew in July 2023, Real Madrid and Barcelona remain steadfast in their commitment to forming the Super League, and Thursday’s verdict strengthens their optimism.

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The court statement read, “The FIFA and UEFA rules making any new interclub football project subject to their prior approval, such as the Super League, and prohibiting clubs and players from playing in those competitions, are unlawful. There is no framework for the FIFA and UEFA rules ensuring that they are transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate.”

Regarding FIFA and UEFA’s exclusive control over commercial rights, the court noted, “The rules giving FIFA and UEFA exclusive control over the commercial exploitation of the rights related to those competitions are such as to restrict competition.”

The court emphasized that economic activities related to football competitions and media rights must comply with competition rules and freedoms of movement, even with the specific characteristics of sports regulations.

The ruling requires FIFA and UEFA to provide fair opportunities to the Super League body to create the competition. However, it does not guarantee the approval or creation of the Super League project specifically.

“That does not mean that a competition such as the Super League project must necessarily be approved,” the statement clarified, as the court did not specifically rule on the approval of the Super League project in its judgment.

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