Many expected the announcement of the UEFA sanctions against the SuperLega rebels this week, but in Nyon they preferred to postpone. Those who were ready to toast to the almost certain exclusion of Juventus from the next edition of the Champions League – so the most convinced said and wrote – found themselves instead with an empty glass in hand. The champagne, or the sparkling wine, remained in the fridge.
Probably in Nyon they advised President Aleksander Ceferin to drink a chamomile as well, lately more interested in making Agnelli pay rather than concentrating on organizing the European Championship, where recent cases of covid within the national teams of Spain and Sweden have triggered the red alert. Instead of making a big voice with Juve, Real and Barça for a tournament that was never born, Ceferin should have raised it against those federations that have not imposed vaccinations on their members, thus avoiding finding themselves now, at the beginning of the continental event (already postponed for a year due to covid) with infected people still around. Bile, when it rises, often clouds the brain and causes you to lose control of situations.
What seems to be happening in Ceferin, convinced that he can treat European clubs as his vassals. The managerial apparatus underlying him is a little less so, considering the suspension adopted against the coup leaders after the presentation of the appeal – through the commercial court of Madrid – to the European Court of Justice. In Nyon there is someone left who is not so sure of winning in this legal battle over the SuperLeague, knowing full well that failure to comply with a court order could result in heavy civil and criminal liability.
Disqualifying three of the main participants in that tournament from the most prestigious continental football competition for a couple of years with the possibility of being readmitted by the European court, means running a very serious risk for UEFA. The compensation cases against the 3 clubs would in fact be very heavy, so it is better to move cautiously and not like elephants in a crystal shop, as Ceferin is doing, blinded by anger.
Real, Barcelona and Juve’s appeal is not against a national or European act but on the application of Community law. Specifically, if the articles of the treaty on the very functioning of Europe have been violated, to which UEFA must also submit. Therefore, the anti-Juventini should rest assured, because the ruling of the Luxembourg Court will not arrive before December, if not at the end of the next football season. Unless the appeal is rejected, and this could happen shortly, but the caution adopted in Nyon suggests there is much more fear that the dispute will be taken seriously and that UEFA may even lose it.
The only one left on his bully positions is Ceferin: “Justice is slow, but it always comes” but it could also be true in reverse, Tsar Aleksander. “The three clubs are like children who skip school, and crash parties to which they are not invited by calling the police,” he added. He could not use a more wrong metaphor, since so far the only one who has interpreted the policeman’s part literally has been him. A former predecessor, Michel Platini (acquitted of the charges against him, I remember him for the forgetful) reminded him: “Juve remains, Ceferin passes”. “No comment” replied the Tsar of Nyon, but he could not do anything else: he knows that it is so.