GENEVA (AP)UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin has support from all 55 member federations to be a candidate for re-election, the European soccer body said Saturday, as it confirmed the Slovenian would stand again in what should be his final term in office.
UEFA said Čeferin received letters of support in recent weeks from each federation, whose leaders met Saturday in Frankfurt, Germany. The deadline for candidates is Jan. 5, ahead of an election meeting on April 5 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Čeferin was also re-elected unopposed in 2019 to extend a presidential term that started in 2016 when he
against Michael van Praag of the Netherlands.
The 2016 election was called early to find a replacement for Michel Platini, who was suspended by the FIFA ethics committee just months into his third term.
Čeferin is approaching the final term of his UEFA presidency, according to its
UEFA presidents are limited to three mandates of four years each, though the statutes consider that “any partial term of office shall count as one full term.”
That would curtail Čeferin’s presidency in the first half of 2027 when he would be 59.
Čeferin’s time in office has seen turmoil for UEFA – with world body FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino, plus a group of storied European clubs – while trying to protect its own competitions.
UEFA has successfully blocked Infantino’s plans for holding World Cups every two years and trying to push through a $25 billion deal that was tied to an expanded Club World Cup and a new global competition for men’s national teams.
A Super League launched by elite European clubs in April 2021 failed within 48 hours as UEFA rallied a fierce backlash from fans, domestic leagues and lawmakers, especially in England, to protect the Champions League.
The dispute between UEFA and an alliance of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus is before judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. A hearing was held in July and the court is scheduled to give its first opinion on Dec. 15 on the clubs’ claim that UEFA benefits from monopoly control of international competitions.
UEFA announced Čeferin’s election plan after a meeting of the 55 member federations on the sidelines of the qualifying groups draw Sunday for the 2024 European Championship.
On the agenda was the future of the men’s Euros, which is likely to remain a 24-team tournament for the 2028 edition.
UEFA has been weighing expansion to 32 teams though Čeferin said last month that option risked devaluing the qualifying games.
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