UEFA 'robustly' defend ESL stance as case is taken to European Court of Justice

UEFA 'robustly' defend ESL stance as case is taken to European Court of Justice

UEFA has released a statement that they will 'robustly' defend their position against the European Super League, following a complaint that has been filed against both them and FIFA.

The European Court of Justice announced on Monday it had received a referral from a court in Madrid concerning a claim that both governing bodies had acted unlawfully in trying to shut down the league and threatening to sanction founding clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.

The controversial plans were announced last month and was set to include 12 teams including both Manchester City and United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Following intense backlash from fans and the media, nine clubs including all English sides dropped out of the project, leaving just Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus refusing to give in on the failed project.

In a statement posted on UEFA's Twitter account, it was said: 'UEFA takes note of the announcement by the European Court of Justice of the referral from a Madrid court on the so-called European Super League, notwithstanding the withdrawal of nine of its founding member clubs. UEFA is confident in its position and will defend it robustly.

The nine clubs that pulled out of the Super League, entered a new peace deal with UEFA on May 7, but the three who have not renounced the Super League face sanctions after disciplinary proceedings were opened on May 25.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus issued a joint statement the following day, describing the disciplinary action as 'incomprehensible' and that football faced an 'inevitable downfall' without major reform.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted that he was baffled by Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid's approach to the European Super League project.

Speaking about the three clubs, Ceferin told Sky Sports Italia: 'They paralysed themselves with the approach they took.

'It's strange to read press releases that the three clubs out of thousands of clubs think their idea will save football and nobody else likes it.'

It is expected that the three clubs are expected to receive strict sanctions from UEFA for maintaining their Super League stance, with a ban from the Champions League competition one of the options available to European football's governing body.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed last week that the Catalans would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) should they be thrown out of the Champions League due to their stance.

The case with the European Court of Justice will aim to establish whether UEFA and FIFA have exclusive organisation of competitions.

A statement from FIFA before the case was revealed said: 'Following an investigation conducted by UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Real Madrid CF, FC Barcelona and Juventus FC for a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework.

'Further information will be made available in due course.'

The breakaway trio hit back at attempts to punish them in a statement.

Their statement read: 'This alarming attitude constitutes a flagrant breach of the decision of the courts of justice, which have already made a clear statement warning UEFA to refrain from taking any action that could penalise the founding clubs of the Super League while the legal proceedings are ongoing.

'Instead of exploring ways of modernizing football through open dialogue, UEFA expects us to withdraw the ongoing court proceedings that question their monopoly over European football.

'Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, all of them more than a century old, will not accept any form of coercion or intolerable pressure, while they remain strong in their willingness to debate, respectfully and through dialogue, the urgent solutions that football currently needs.

'Either we reform football or we will have to watch its inevitable downfall.'

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