Saudi Clubs to Play in Champions League – UEFA President Speaks

The UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, has made it clear that only European clubs are eligible to play in the Champions League, the Europa League, or the Conference League.

He rejected the rumors that Saudi Arabian clubs could join the elite European competitions.

Ceferin spoke to the French newspaper L’Equipe ahead of the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday.

He said that he was not worried about the financial power of the Saudi league, which recently signed some of the world’s best players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Sadio Mane.

Ceferin compared the situation to China, which also invested heavily in foreign players but failed to develop its own football. He said that the top players still preferred to play in Europe and had no interest in moving to Saudi Arabia.

“We had a similar situation with China, which bought players at the end of their careers and offered them a lot of money. The result was that Chinese football didn’t develop after that,” Ceferin said.

“As far as I know, (Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian) Mbappe and (Manchester City striker Erling) Haaland are not dreaming about Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Ceferin said that the strategy used by Saudi Arabia “is not the right way” and that the Saudi league “should work on the education of players and coaches, but that’s not my problem.” (dpa/NAN)

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