Friday, December 2, 2022



Champions League – Al Khelaifi proposed a change



The Champions League has a lot to learn from the Super Bowl and Al Khelaifi knows it. The PSG president spoke about a possible reform that would bring UEFA closer. Despite the internal conflict he is experiencing at the French club, the Qatari focused on his role as a European leader.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Nasser Al Khelaïfi gave an interview to The Athletic and compared the Champions League final to the Super Bowl. In other words, he looked to the North American mega-event to boost Europe’s top tournament.

The president of PSG and the European Club Association (ECA) proposed a reform of the Champions League. In which the opening match would be a ceremony between the champion and a great team.

After UEFA modified the Champions League format, Al Khelaifi went even further. Speaking to The Athletic, the PSG president commented that he suggested a new sales modality as a product:

“What I suggested was that a Champions League opening ceremony be held. That a match be held on the opening night with the winner playing against a big team. Maybe not a good idea, but at least we challenged the status quo. Every match should be an event and entertainment”

Al Khelaifi modern visions had been directly linked to the failed Super League in Europe. When months ago, the continent’s so-called big clubs came together to push for a new tournament. It was unsuccessful, though, and they clashed with UEFA.

Al Khelaifi also had words for the Super Bowl, who’s final he compared to the Champions League. The PSG president considered the top continental club competition to be a superior event to the NFL:

“The Champions League final should be something bigger. I can’t understand how the Super Bowl can seem bigger. The Super Bowl, and the United States in general, has this spirit, creativity and entertainment”

PSG in internal conflict

These statements by Al Khelaifi came in the middle of an interview. But he had no qualms about what it may cause internally at PSG.

The French club is in the midst of a sporting crisis following its elimination from the Champions League. And the Parisian fans complained in the team’s last match in Ligue 1.

Now it remains to be seen whether Al Khelaifi’s statements as European leader of the ECA do not influence his relationship with the fans. Although the Qatari is at ease with his managerial role, it would not go down well in France.

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