UEFA and FIFA have gone to the mattresses to resolve the dispute against the European Sper League. The hearing will commence next week from July 11-12.
The European Super League (ESL) came up as a response to the alliance between UEFA and the money bag clubs. They have muddied the pool with the traditional heavyweights of European football aggrieved.
UEFA want to maintain their vice-like hold on European football and are doing all they can to squash any challenge to their hegemony. The traditional top clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have found it difficult to compete with state-sponsored clubs like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
The immunity City and PSG seem to enjoy with UEFA has seen them challenged for not adhering to the Financial Fair Play rules with nothing coming out of it. It may have invigorated these state-supported clubs. Questions remain about how PSG can sign Mbappe to a monstrous deal despite their losses.
The ESL is a challenge to the monopoly UEFA wields, and the case is in court to ascertain the legality and status of the competition.
The ESL has been a thorn in the flesh of UEFA and FIFA. Both bodies seek to punish any club that aligns with the competition. UEFA wants to maintain its monopoly in Europe, but the birth of new competition like the ESL would challenge that, especially with the financial rewards it promises.
UEFA and FIFA have headed to court to determine their jurisdiction on what they can do regarding punishment to clubs that err. Next week, the top court in Europe will sit to see if UEFA and FIFA have the right to block clubs from joining the ESL and penalising players.
The court case between UEFA, FIFA and the European Super League should have a domino effect on other sports clubs and players who intend to secure lucrative deals from these bodies. Some of them with short careers are looking to cash in on the situation.
The ESL was birthed in April last year, but in less than 48 hours, it was a stillbirth following the outcry unleashed on it. The orchestration of the backlash on the ESL by fans, governments and players intimidated Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid into exiting the coalition.
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus remained adamant. They were on course to see the competition come alive. Not satisfied with the fall of the ESL, Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona went to court to seek clarification on the matter. The court then went to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for guidance.
The issue debated is whether provisions in the FIFA and UEFA statutes allow them to block rival events. Do those provisions adhere to EU competition rules against companies or bodies abusing their dominance?
Also to be decided is whether the threat by UEFA and FIFA to bar clubs and players from taking part in the Super League or to stop them from playing in national team matches amounts to an abuse of power.
The media rights of FIFA and UEFA are also up for debate when the hearing comes up from July 11-12. A decision will come at the earliest next year.