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European Super League: EU Parliament votes to oppose breakaway competitions

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By AP  with Euronews
Juventus and Chelsea were two of the twelve original Super League clubs.
Juventus and Chelsea were two of the twelve original Super League clubs.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

The European Parliament has voted to oppose breakaway sports competitions after the aborted Super League project.

MEPs said they wanted European sporting culture "to be aligned with EU values of solidarity, sustainability, inclusiveness for all, open competition, sporting merit, and fairness".

A total of 576 members voted to oppose the Super League in a non-binding resolution, with 36 against and 55 abstentions.

The European Parliament said breakaway competitions undermine EU values and "endanger the stability of the overall sports ecosystem".

Some of Europe's largest football clubs attempted to form their own competition -- known as the Super League -- in April.

The project soon collapsed with 48 hours following widespread opposition from supporters and European governments.

But three clubs -- Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus -- have said that plans to break away from the UEFA Champions League are on "standby".

Days before the vote, promoters of the Super League wrote to the EU, accusing UEFA of conflicts of interests and violating competition law.

The company behind the Super League has complained that lawmakers are overlooking issues with European football's governing body.

“There is no other circumstance in Europe in which a monopolistic private regulator such as UEFA, based outside the European Union, would also be allowed to be the sole, dominant operator and gatekeeper,” Super League officials Anas Laghrari and John Hahn said in a statement.

“European sports, and particularly football, need protection against the abuses being committed by a number of actors sitting outside the European Union, pursuing interests unrelated to sports while using football clubs as platforms for their own agendas, breaching financial fair play regulations and damaging traditional football and its sustainability.”

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin welcomed the vote and said the governing body will keep working with the EU "to strengthen and protect the European sports model in European football".

The vote in Strasbourg was held after a report was drafted by Polish MEP Tomasz Frankowski, a former professional football player.

MEPs also called on Tuesday for more money to be redistributed to amateur sports but did not propose any detailed plans for any solidarity mechanisms.

“MEPs want a balance to be struck between professional sport’s commercial interests and its social functions, by strengthening the links between grassroots and elite sport,” the European Parliament said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers also pledged to tackle gender inequality and harassment in sports, “in particular when it comes to pay and equal representation on the boards of sports organisations.”