UEFA President Talks About Moving Champions League Finals to the US

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has made a bold statement regarding the future of the Champions League

by Faruk Imamovic
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UEFA President Talks About Moving Champions League Finals to the US

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has made a bold statement regarding the future of the Champions League, confirming that part of the matches could be played in the United States of America in the near future, with the possibility of hosting the final of the competition on another continent.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some praising the move as a step towards a more globalized footballing experience, while others criticized the decision as a threat to the traditional European identity of the competition.

Talks About Transcontinental Matches Have Already Started

In an interview, Ceferin stated that discussions about playing the Champions League on another continent have already begun and that everything is possible after the Champions League final in Munich in 2025.

"It's possible. We started to discuss about that but then one year it was the World Cup, 2024 is Euro, this year [the final] is [in] Istanbul, '24 is London and '25 is Munich and after that, let's see," he said.

The US as a Promising Market for the Future

Ceferin also highlighted the growing popularity of football in the United States and the potential it holds as a market for the future. "Football is extremely popular in [the] United States these days.

Americans are willing to pay for the best and nothing for the less. So they will follow European football as basketball lovers in Europe follow NBA," he said. "It's a very important promising market for the future. The thing is that we are selling rights very well.

Sponsorship is so-so for now from the US, but here [in the US] commercialization is completely different than in Europe. They [Americans] are much more talented for that than us [Europeans]."

Challenges to Overcome

However, Ceferin acknowledged that there are several challenges that must be overcome in order to make the transcontinental move a success. "What shocked me in 30 matches of the Euro, every match viewership was a Super Bowl viewership, so I think we're doing well.

The problem is the time difference, because if you play [Champions League games on] Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 12 noon in LA, it's a problem," he said. A Salary Cap for a More Competitive Balance Ceferin also touched upon the issue of the increasing budgets of clubs, which he believes is a threat to the competitive balance of the competition.

"In the future, we have to seriously think about a salary cap," he said. "If the budgets go sky-high then our competitive balance is a problem. It's not about the owners, it's about the value of the competition, because if five clubs will always win then it doesn't make sense any more.

But it has to be a collective agreement – every league and Uefa. Because if we do it and the other leagues don't, then it doesn't make sense."

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