Champions League reform plans panned by Italian Football Federation

Champions League reform plans panned by Italian Football Federation
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the national soccer body, has condemned UEFA and the European Club Association’s (ECA) plans to revamp the Champions League from 2024.

The revamped Champions League, Europe’s premier continental club cup competition, would see 23 out of 32 teams being assured of Champions League qualification regardless of domestic performance, with promotion and relegation to a secondary competition leaving as few as four spots open to individual national league winners and essentially creating a closed tournament.


Currently, clubs enter the Champions League depending on their respective performances in their domestic leagues.


The ECA, which is headed by Italian club Juventus’ Chairman Andrea Agnelli, are the forerunners of this new format.


FIGC President Gabriele Gravina condemned the proposals, following executives from English, German, French and Spanish soccer’s governing bodies.


He said: “We are against the creation of a Super Champions for two mandatory aspects: territoriality and the value of sports competition.

“We do not sacrifice the value of our national football to the detriment of interests linked to individual subjects.”


Gravina also called on UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin to recognise the resistance that the ECA’s proposals are facing across the continent.


Adding: “Football needs an evolution through the enhancement of the brand and new sources of financing but in respect of some prerogatives. I hope that Čeferin takes note of this unanimous decision of the FIGC.”


Demetrio Albertini, FIGC Vice President, added: “Merit must always be achieved on the field. It doesn't count the status or the history but the work must be rewarded, how the managers have built the team and how the coach makes the players play.”


In Serie A, the top flight of Italian soccer, the top four teams qualify for the Champions League. Under the new regulations, this would throw the current structure into doubt with historically smaller teams, such as Atalanta who currently occupy fourth spot, facing an even tougher entry route to the Champions League.

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