Accusations and attempts to ban Spanish football players have emerged throughout football history. However, another scandal popped up in recent years meant to shatter the European football world. We are here to offer you all the details, so let’s get into it!
Background story on the threats to ban Spanish footballers
In 2018, the President of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, began conducting conversations with other Spanish football clubs on the subject of establishing a new competition.
Perez stated that this new alliance would provide more significant financial support for all European clubs. The clubs who took part in these discussions, held in secret, were mainly focused on finding better solutions for the league. These clubs were open to new reforms from UEFA that would be as acceptable for them as a reasonably new competition.
The reason behind the change
As the past two years were financially difficult for most football teams, Perez reopened the discussion for a new European competition. Real Madrid was one of the teams hardly hit by debts, so there’s no wonder this option popped up again. Perez’s proposition drew much interest as JPMorgan Chase, an American investment banking persona, decided to invest $5 billion in this new football formation.
Clubs involved in ESL
In April 2021, Perez conducted a press conference that unveiled the name of the new formation, the European Super League (ESL), and its founding members.
No less than 12 English, Italian and Spanish clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan, Juventus, Milan, Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, and Real Madrid – signed up to take part in this new formation.
During his announcement, Florentino Perez stated that the European Super League “will help football and take it to its rightful place globally.”
The aftermath of the ESL announcement
Perez’s new plans did not receive the most favourable response.
Immediately after Perez’s announcement, UEFA and English, Spanish and Italian football entities responded by stating that any clubs who decide to participate in ESL will be banned from all the other domestic and continental competitions.
UEFA made an official statement on this subject in which it was said: “I cannot stress more strongly at this moment: UEFA and the footballing world stand united against the disgraceful, self-serving proposal we have seen in the past 24hours from a select few clubs in Europe that are fuelled purely by greed. Super League is only about money, the money of the dozen, I don’t want to call them dirty dozen – but UEFA is about developing football, and about financing what should be financed, that our football, our culture, survives – and some people don’t understand it.”
The European Super League got mixed reactions from sports fans, as well. While some claim this is an excellent opportunity for football fans to watch more competitions between their favorite teams, others believe that this new formation’s goal is for big football clubs to make more money, as any other more minor team can’t take part in this competition unless they contribute financially.
Thus, many believe it is unfair that only big clubs can afford to compete in this formation.
The reason to ban Spanish football players
After European Super League plans had been revealed, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin declared that football players who participated in the proposed formation would be banned from playing for their countries in the European Championship and the World Cup.
He claims that players violate several UEFA’s legal framework statutes by engaging in such acts. One of them, entitled “Prohibited Relations,” says that “no combinations or alliances between UEFA Member Associations or between leagues or clubs affiliated, directly or indirectly, to different Uefa Member Associations may be formed without the permission of UEFA.”
Who’s facing the consequences?
In May 2021, the three clubs still supporting the ESL formation, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus, were threatened to be banned from the Champions League and any other competitions organized by UEFA.
Last month, Sofia Gil Garcia, who’s a judge of Madrid’s 17th Commercial Court, concluded that “a mechanism of control of the competitions that could be organized is justified, whether by means of prior authorization by the governing bodies or by means of any other systems,” so that “as a precautionary measure, it cannot be considered that the system of prior authorization by UEFA, which has not been followed yet, is not acceptable.”
Other cases of banning Spanish footballers
Spanish footballers have paid their dues when it comes to breaking any laws. From tax evasion to inappropriate behaviour, footballers have faced interdictions of playing in a strict number of competitions, or some have been banned for life.
Banned from playing
One Spanish football player who has faced bans multiple times is Gerald Pique. The Barcelona player was banned from playing in 4 matches in 2015 over his outburst over an unfavourable decision towards a linesman. The most recent case happened in February 2021, when Gerald Pique faced a 12-match ban over his statements from an interview in which he stated that many referees favour Real Madrid.
Other football player bans
Mix-matches, inappropriate behaviour, and thefts are just some of the situations that repeat themselves in many sports competitions. These kinds of occurrences have happened before, as multiple events of player bans have shaken up the football world.
Football players have been accused and sentenced many times, some of them even banned for life from taking part in football games. Therefore, it’s no surprise that UEFA and other federations make public statements that condemn such practices.
Joey Barton received one of the most extended bans in football history. He faced an 18-month ban after his betting association was discovered. Another known cause is Diego Maradona’s 15-month ban over failing drug tests.
Fairness, competition, and respect are three essential qualities in football. As long as it remains the most popular sport of all time, anyone from a player to a club owner must obey specific rules.
Football is not just a game; it has become a whole industry. There are many interests to be considered when the competitions or game rules require changes. All of these factors make football the most beloved sport worldwide.