Is it possible to imagine a World Cup without Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?However, such concerns were raised when an announcement came on Sunday (April 18th) that a new competition branded the "European Super League" will be launched with the best clubs from across Europe. The competition was initially planned to feature 15 topclubs as permanent members.UEFA responded immediately, warning that the teams would be excluded and their players would be banned from participating in international competitions.This article discusses, how the European Super League could have ruled Messi and Ronaldo out of the FIFA World Cup 2022?
What is the European Super League?
The European Super League is a brand new competition for so-called elite clubs which will feature 20 teams. There will be 15 founding clubs and the names of 12 clubs have been released so far. They are Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham from Premier League; Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid from La Liga; and Inter, Juventus, AC Milan from Serie A.
Three more clubs are expected to join as founding members. Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund are believed to have been contacted, but none of them have shown a desire to join.
Five more teams will be picked for the competition each season based on their domestic season performance.
The clubs will be split into two groups and the matches will be played on a home and away basis, as usual. The top three teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals. For the final two spots, the fourth and fifth teams in each group will play a two-leg play-off match. Then the rest of the way is like the Champions League.
Expected tournament schedule
The season's calendar can be complicated since Super League teams still tend to compete in the domestic league. It'll be a packed schedule and being occupied in such a tournament means bidding farewell to the Champions League. The Super League authority has confirmed that the matches will take place in mid-week. The final will be one match and it will be held by the end of May.
When is the Super League set to begin?
FC Barcelona said in an official statement that they want to begin the league as soon as possible. However, the clubs announced in a joint statement that the competition will begin in August.
How much money will the clubs earn?
European Super League teams will get a huge financial benefit. The founding clubs will receive 3.5 billion euros for infrastructure improvements and debt relief. The prize money for teams in the Super League will be significantly higher than the prize money for teams in the Champions League.
UEFA's response on super league
UEFA, the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A all responded quickly to the Super League's announcement. In an official statement, UEFA said that they are all working together to avoid this unethical project, and they believe the super league is formed to protect the clubs' self-interest.
UEFA also stated that football is a merit-based sport and that they will never support such a decision. As a result, super league clubs will be banned from competing in any domestic, continental, or worldwide competition. Players from the teams will also be unable to represent their country in any international matches.
After the announcement of UEFA, there are fears that superstar footballers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will not be seen in FIFA World Cup 2022.
Both Messi and Ronaldo have yet to win the World Cup. So they want to make one last attempt to win the World Cup in Qatar. But if UEFA's announcement is true, then apart from these two best footballers of all time, almost half of the world's best footballers will be absent in the World Cup 2022. Because nearly all of the world's biggest stars play for Europe's top clubs.
Protest and confirmation of all English clubs withdrawal
Supporters from a number of Premier League clubs have protested the club owners' arbitrary decision. Fans of Liverpool and Chelsea were prominent among them. Within 48 hours of the widespread criticism, all Premier League clubs reversed their positions and announced their withdrawal from the Super League.
Following the announcement by all Premier League teams, the Super League's other six clubs would no longer remain in their previous stands. So, the European Super League's dissolution may be announced at any moment. However, UEFA and FIFA must place more emphasis on protecting everyone's interests.
Coronavirus has placed all of Europe's big clubs into a huge economic crisis. As a result, they're attempting to cover the financial loss by introducing new initiatives. However, there is no valid reason to support a proposal that undermines the very essence of football. The demands of the clubs are not completely unreasonable. In this case, UEFA needed to be more vigilant. If the Super League tournament is not held as expected, big names like Messi and Ronaldo will be able to participate in the FIFA World Cup 2022. This will be great news for millions of football fans around the world.