The Champions League semi-finals next week are expected to go ahead, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said, after a plan by some top clubs to create a Super League caused chaos.
|Champions League semis likely to go ahead: UEFA president, (FRANCK FIFE / AFP) |
"There is relatively little chance that next week's matches will not be played..," Ceferin told Slovenian television Pop TV late Wednesday.
"The key thing is that the season has already started. If we cancelled the matches, television stations would have compensation demands," added Ceferin, who is Slovenian.
Football's most powerful clubs faced mounting calls on Thursday for reprisals over the European Super League fiasco, as the rebel competition's boss insisted it was merely "on standby" despite nine of the 12 founding teams pulling out.
The breakaway league folded just 48 hours after its unveiling following blanket opposition from fans and officials.
Just Barcelona and Real Madrid, along with Italian champions Juventus -- who admitted the lucrative project could not now go ahead -- are left after top British clubs and others withdrew.
"There is 244 clubs on our side out of the 247 in Europe... We expect they (Super League clubs) will realise their mistakes and suffer the consequences," Ceferin said.
"It's been a while since I last saw such a conspiracy... From time to time I would hear rumours that something was being prepared, but I naively could not believe that the people who were talking with me on a daily basis about our future were, in fact, preparing a different thing behind our backs," he said.
Ceferin further slammed Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, one of the key figures behind the Super League project, for his "greed".
"For me it is plainly horrible to see greed can be so powerful that it makes you care nothing about the sport we all love, about European culture and tradition, about fans and, ultimately, about personal friendships," said Ceferin -- a family friend of Agnelli.