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What’s behind Boban’s resignation?

The mood is explosive ahead of the UEFA Congress in Paris at the beginning of February. The straw that could break the camel’s back is a vote to extend Aleksander Ceferin’s term of office

Since a comprehensive governance reform in 2017, presidents are actually limited to a maximum of three terms in office. However, Ceferin wants to take the same step as Gianni Infantino at FIFA. Infantino circumvented the restriction on terms of office introduced at the world governing body after the Sepp Blatter scandal era with the argument that he had taken over for his compatriot during an ongoing election cycle, which should not be regarded as a full four-year period. It was a similar story for Ceferin when he took over from his then-banned predecessor Michel Platini in September 2016. In Paris, the Slovenian wants to be given the opportunity to run for a third time in 2027. If successful, Ceferin would then have been in power in Nyon for 15 years instead of the stipulated 12. Which in turn would thwart the basic idea of the reform, which the then DFB President Reinhard Grindel had helped to work on.

Boban criticizes Ceferin and his plans

Yesterday, Zvonimir Boban, a prominent man, resigned from his position as “Director of Football” at UEFA. The former star player explained in a statement that he had expressed his concerns to Ceferin about his plan at the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Hamburg. Boban summarized the meeting in an emotional statement: “The UEFA President sees no legal problems with the proposed changes, let alone moral or ethical ones, and he intends to go ahead anyway in pursuit of his personal goals.” As a result, the 55-year-old announced his resignation. David Gill, head of the influential English FA, is also critical of Ceferin’s plans.

However, the planned extension of the term of office is not the only aspect that is offending a growing number of critical officials. Not everyone was satisfied with the management of the Super League proceedings before the European Court of Justice, the outcome of which considerably weakened UEFA’s position. The ruling from Luxembourg has increased the pressure on the confederation and shifted power further to the ECA, the major club association. Numerous clubs announced that they would remain loyal to UEFA’s most important source of money, the Champions League. However, the ECJ has strengthened the clubs in the struggle for organization and money distribution and if the Super League investors really get serious, the question will arise from a certain amount as to how much the clubs’ commitments from December 2023 are really worth.

Chaos of the 2022 CL final under UEFA’s responsibility

The handling of the 2022 UEFA Champions League final in Paris is also the subject of criticism. Despite initial accusations to the contrary, UEFA was responsible for the tumultuous chaos with numerous injuries and arrests surrounding the 1-0 win between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC. The head of security at the time was Zeljko Pavlica, a confidant of Ceferin. Now the next showdown in the lawyer’s career as an official will take place again in Paris on February 8.

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