Ceferin warns Saudis not to repeat China’s mistakes, adding no SPL team will play in UCL

September 1 – UEFA president Alexander Ceferin has again taken a swipe at the Saudi Pro League saying the talent drain from Europe isn’t a concern and that there is no place for a SPL club in the Champions League.

He told L’Equipe: “It doesn’t represent a danger. We’ve seen what happened in China, where players at the end of their careers had landed in exchange for a lot of money.

“Result: Chinese football did not develop and the national team did not qualify for the World Cup. In Saudi Arabia they should work on training players and coaches, but this is not my problem.

“There are players at the end of their careers and others who are not ambitious enough to aspire to win major competitions. As far as I know, (Kylian) Mbappé and (Erling) Haaland don’t dream of Saudi Arabia. The best players, at the peak of their careers, I don’t think will go to Saudi Arabia. When people tell me about the players who have gone there, nobody knows where they play.”

On an SPL team playing in a UEFA competition, Ceferin added: “This is a topic that mainly interests the media, not so much the European football community.

“Only European clubs can participate in the Champions League, Europa League or the Europa Conference League; only European federations can apply to host a final. We would have to change all our rules and we have no intention of doing that.”

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