UEFA presidential favorite criticizes Champions League deal

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) The UEFA presidential election favorite has criticized the secret deal guaranteeing four Champions League group-stage places for Europe’s top four leagues.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Aleksander Ceferin expressed frustration UEFA caved into the demands of powerful clubs from Spain, Germany, England, and Italy amid the threat of breaking away to form a closed Super League.

Those countries are guaranteed 16 Champions League places from 2018-21, rather than 11 currently – squeezing teams from lower-ranked leagues like Ceferin’s Slovenia.

Ceferin says “it’s not frustrating just for me, it’s frustrating for all 55 national associations … we didn’t know anything that was going on.”

Discussing any Super League, Ceferin says “it will mean war with UEFA.”

Ceferin is up against UEFA vice-president Michael van Praag in Wednesday’s presidential election.