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Champions League

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says a ‘final four’ Champions League format could be on the way

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says that a Champions League ‘final four’ format could be part of changes to the competition from 2025.

Ceferin revealed that he has consulted various club presidents around Europe to get consensus – including Paris Saint-Germain’s Nasser Al-Khelaifi – after piloting a ‘final eight’ event in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

It is clear Ceferin wants the finale of the competition to generate more buzz, and name-dropped the NFL as a brand that could be emulated.

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Speaking to French outlet Le Journal Du Dimanche, Ceferin said: “We haven’t yet discussed this [the final four proposals] properly because of the pandemic, which has taken up our day-to-day focus.

“But my opinion is that it would be great.

“It should be more competitive and more interesting for the fans.

“I have discussed it with some club presidents, such as Al-Khelaifi, and they are in agreement.

“Football is bigger than NFL but the Super Bowl is a huge spectacle.

“It’s a simple equation to solve – we would just need to compensate clubs for the revenue they would lose from hosting the semi-final matches. That is possible.

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“It would come in for the 2024-25 season at the earliest. But I doubt it could be done that quickly.”

Ceferin also repeated his stance against a biannual World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed the possibility of late, but Ceferin is adamant it would not work.

He said: “I’m sure that won’t happen because it’s a complete nonsense.

“It’s a populist project that would destroy football. It goes against all the principles of our sport, and those of the Olympic Games.

“It’s incredible that a football organisation can propose that their players – on top of an already heavy schedule – should play a month-long tournament every summer.

“And just imagine how it would eat into women’s football.

“Alongside South America, we have said that it won’t work.

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“Without us, it would no longer be a World Cup.”

Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+.

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