Aleksander Ceferin praises the unpredictability of a competition that is reportedly in line to become incredibly more predictable and sterile.

By 90Min
May 10, 2019

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has hailed the 'glorious unpredictability' of football after events in the Champions League semifinals this week, asserting that the 3-0 aggregate comebacks that both Liverpool and Tottenham pulled off will 'go down in football history'.

"There is nothing quite like the drama and excitement of a major football event and the spectacle that we have seen this week will go down in football history," Čeferin said.

"Football has the enduring capacity to stir people's hearts and produce moments of unrivalled emotion - and the fantastic matches in Liverpool and Amsterdam gave ample proof of the game's glorious unpredictability.

"Liverpool and Tottenham deserve the highest praise for the way in which they overcame three-goal aggregate deficits and fought back against the odds - thrilling millions of football lovers in the process. The two teams' achievements showed that anything is possible in our beautiful game.

"Football fans everywhere live for the passion of occasions such as these semifinals, and the two matches were marvellous advertisements for the caliber and appeal of the UEFA Champions League."

It comes as news surfaces, via documents seen by the Associated Press, that UEFA is considering a proposal that would change the Champions League as of 2024 and push it towards becoming a more 'closed-off competition' that favors elite clubs.

The document in question is said to propose that 24 of the teams 32 teams in the 2024/25 Champions League group stage would keep their place in the competition the following season regardless of where they finish in their domestic league.

The report also notes that such changes, if approved, would see the creation of eight-team groups and therefore more than double the number of group games played by each club from six to 14. With that would come significant additional from broadcasting and sponsorship.

Of the eight places that would be up for grabs in the Champions League each season, four would be awarded to the Europa League semifinalists in a promotion/relegation concept where the Champions League is the top tier and other competitions sit beneath it in the UEFA ladder, with a new third tier competition of 64 teams split into four divisions below the Europa League.

The remaining four Champions League places would go to national champions from lower ranked domestic leagues competing in preliminary rounds.

The proposal has drawn early criticism over concerns of a widening wealthy gap between elite clubs and the rest of Europe, as well as potential damage to the competitiveness and meaningfulness of domestic leagues.

UEFA have commented to AP that details are 'only ideas and opinions' at the consultation stage of the process, with no certainty over whether the proposal will actually be approved.

AP notes that UEFA intends not to offer further comment on any details of potential plans until after member associations have been briefed at a meeting in Budapest on May 17, coinciding with the Women's Champions League final in the Hungarian capital that weekend.

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