74 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Ceferin warns PSG probe is real and that UEFA rebuild is not all about the money

By Andrew Warshaw 

September 21 – UEFA could announce by the end of this season what sanctions, if any, it will impose on Paris St Germain as a result of its probe into the club for potential breaches of financial fair play.

Earlier this month, despite insisting they have played strictly by the rules, PSG discovered that their eye-watering spending spree during the latter part of the summer transfer was to be formally investigated by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body.

In his address to UEFA’s extraordinary congress on Wednesday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin outlined a “whole arsenal of concrete measures” he would like to see implemented to curb excessive spending including salary caps and squad limits but acknowledged he was hamstrung by European law.

Ceferin later revealed at a press conference that a meeting was being set up with the European Commission “as soon as possible” to open up channels of communication. In the meantime UEFA is conducting its own inquiry into PSG.

Recently Ceferin shrugged off suggestions that his organisation had become weak-willed when it comes to enforcing FFP. Spanish league boss Javier Tebas has accused UEFA of dragging into feet when imposing sanctions.

“We work and don’t talk as much as some other people,” was Ceferin’s barbed response to Tebas’ accusation when he held a post-exco press conference. “I can’t comment on the (PSG) investigation obviously but I can say it will be finished at the latest by the end of this season.”

Meanwhile following the resignation  of Spain’s old-guard FIFA and UEFA stalwart Angel Maria Villar, embroiled in allegations of corruption, Italy’s Michele Uva has been appointed to take Villar’s UEFA vice-presidency role until 2019. Villar’s interim replacement as a European FIFA Council member, meanwhile, is Portuguese football federation president Fernando Gomes until fresh elections next February.

Ceferin wouldn’t comment directly on Villar’s situation since Spanish football authorities are still investigating him but said: “I can assure you we are trying to be transparent.”

Ceferin has now been in the job for a just over a year and has cited the need for greater competitive balance in club football as his biggest challenge.

For UEFA as whole, he says, running the organisation “is not just about having as much revenue as possible. We have to develop the game – women’s football, youth football, grass-roots football. We have a lot to do. We are trying to do as much good as possible. I know that might be hard to believe because you don’t see too many good experiences but it will take longer than one year and six days.”

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