Despite the war in Ukraine, Russian athletes can once again participate in competitions in some industries. At the European Football Association (UEFA), however, they remain adamant about this. “Until the end of the war!” is Alexander Ceferinthe president of UEFA, answered for n1info the question until when the Russians will not be allowed to compete in football in Europe.
Čeferin once again emphasized that the war in Ukraine is unacceptable. Last year, only a few days after the aggression against Ukraine, Uefa terminated cooperation with long-time sponsor Gazprom. “It simply had to be done as some kind of symbolic act. Hardly after the start of the war around the stadiums, where matches are watched by hundreds of millions of people, we show an ad for this company. I’m sorry it’s like that, but we had to do it. But it is also a fact that those who still buy gas from this company are the ones who are shouting the most in this regard,” warned the first man of UEFA.
But he rejected the suggestion that Uefa should have considered the suitability of the sponsor even before the war. “This seems to me to be pure populism. Europe is not exactly a world champion in human rights either. And the populists, who are full of mouths about who we shouldn’t do business with, do it exclusively for self-promotion. We return 97 percent of all the money we earn to football, and I will do everything to develop this sport further,” said Čeferin.
Regarding the recent “kiss in Spain” affair, he pointed out once again that women’s football needs a code of conduct that would clearly set the limits of what is permissible and determine the consequences when you cross the line. “Which he did Rubiales, was inappropriate and unwise. But when I read that it’s a felony… As a criminal lawyer, that seems completely illogical to me. You journalists brought this story to this level.”
He knows how hard it is to find money for women’s football
Events in the Slovenian women’s national team, in which the coach recently resigned Borut the Capricorn, did not want to comment, as he does not know all the facts. He touched on the issue of equal conditions and payments for Slovenian men and women and pointed out that it is a multifaceted story that is not limited only to payments.
“From the time when I was the president of the Football Association of Slovenia, I know how difficult it is to find money. Just to illustrate, I will tell you that with the last men’s European Championship in 2021, we made an extremely large profit. Last year we had by far the most successful women’s European football championship in England, but we still made a big loss by organizing the competition. I don’t call it a loss, but an investment,” judged Čeferin.
As he says, he does not know the financial situation of the NHS and therefore cannot comment on the conditions, but he adds: “The national team under 21 years of age and younger selections probably also travel with regular lines. Are young people less valuable than older people? It’s not black and white. We are constantly improving the conditions for women’s football. It’s growing exponentially. But many forget that women’s football is a young sport and that it will take some time to be at least roughly financially sustainable.”
Čeferin also emphasized that he is still in favor of salary restrictions, which would increase competition between clubs. He also pointed out the ownership of clubs as a problem, where the same owners can have several teams that meet each other in competitions.
The current topic of the transfer window was the outflow of stars from European clubs to Saudi Arabia. “I think this story will be relatively short-lived. I have already said several times that in my opinion this is the wrong approach to the development of football. By bringing in footballers who have practically finished their careers in Europe, you are not developing football. China did the same thing years ago, but their national team still failed to qualify for the World Cup.”