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April 20, 2021, 3:42 p.m. EDT

What is the European Super League, and why are soccer fans so upset about it?

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By Callum Keown

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The sport’s governing bodies have strongly condemned the idea , with UEFA describing it as a “cynical project founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity more than ever.” UEFA is also considering legal and sporting measures to stop the move.

UEFA also threatened that clubs signing up to the Super League would be banned from all other competitions. That means, for example, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham could be kicked out of the English Premier League.

Any players involved could also be banned by world football’s governing body, FIFA, from playing for their countries at the World Cup.

Will it happen?

The timing of the announcement, on the eve of UEFA’s own reform package, has led to speculation that it is merely posturing by the 12 clubs in an attempt to push through changes. However, the clubs have gone further than many expected if they were indeed playing a game of bluff.

Football authorities, along with the clubs not involved in the Super League, called urgent meetings on Monday as they scrambled to respond and resolve the chaos.

German giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and France’s Paris Saint-Germain have chosen not to join, in an early blow to the potential league.

Former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who is now the FIFA head of global football development, told TalkSport the idea “will not go far.” 

“I would say it’s a bad idea. Football has to stay united; it’s the most important thing. It’s based on sporting merit and to respect the history that has been built from European football,” he said.

JPMorgan has been approached for comment.

From the archives (May 2016): Leicester City overcomes history and 5,000-to-1 odds to win Premier League

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