Spain’s government on Monday condemned the creation of a breakaway football league, seeking a way to defuse a major shakeup in the world of professional sports.
Culture and Sports Minister José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes spent his day in meetings with the presidents of the three Spanish teams backing the new European Super League, as well as the heads of European football authority UEFA, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, and La Liga.
“Through conversations, the government has verified that all parties are interested in dialogue… and hopes it will lead to an agreement that benefits everyone,” said a statement released afterward.
Spain’s Real Madrid, Atletico de Madrid, and Barcelona have all signed up for the new league. Six British teams and three from Italy are also on board.
Florentino Perez, the current president of Real Madrid, has been named the league’s first chairman.
Under the proposal, the league would consist of 20 teams from across Europe that would play matches all season until a finale in May.
The major European football leagues said in a statement: “We remain united in our efforts to stop this cynical project, a project that is founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.”
The statement also said that the clubs involved in the rebel league will be banned from playing in other domestic or international competitions, while their players could also be denied the chance to represent national teams in tournaments like the World Cup.
Javier Tebas, the head of Spain’s La Liga, slammed the move, tweeting that “gurus of the superleague... are exiting the darkness of the bar at 5 AM, intoxicated with selfishness and a lack of solidarity.”
The major criticism of the new league is that it will leave out less powerful teams and could steal the spotlight from other football leagues.
The 12 clubs that signed up for the super league said in a statement that the move aims to put the game on “a sustainable footing for the long-term future” and “open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities.”
“The pandemic has shown that a strategic vision and a sustainable commercial approach are required to enhance value and support for the benefit of the entire European football pyramid.”/aa