Aleksander Ceferin, in office since 2016, will have little difficulty in continuing his mandate at the head of UEFA until 2027. The Slovenian will indeed be… the only candidate in the running for his own succession.
Candidates interested in the highest seat of the European body had until Thursday January 5 to apply.
No one has come forward to challenge the leader in place.
Ceferin will therefore be re-elected for the third time, on April 5 in Lisbon (Por), during the UEFA General Congress.
During the last executive committees of the organization in Frankfurt, it was announced that Ceferin had the written support of the 55 European federations.
"I personally thank the 55 member federations for their letters of support received in recent weeks in view of the next election," he said.
#UPDATE Aleksander Ceferin is the only candidate for a third mandate as UEFA president, European football's governing body said on Friday.
The 55-year-old Slovenian will be re-elected at a congress in Lisbon in April.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 6, 2023
Lawyer by profession, Ceferin, successor to Michel Platini, had previously chaired the Slovenian Football Federation, from 2011 to 2016. He has long marked a firm opposition to the projects of his Fifa counterpart, Gianni Infantino, former N.2 of the UEFA, in particular on the ephemeral project of the World Cup which would be held every two years, instead of its classic four-year rhythm.
The abandonment of the project nevertheless sketched a relaxation between the two leaders.
But Ceferin's big challenge was above all the eruption of a project for a breakaway European competition, the Super League, in the spring of 2021. Launched by twelve major European clubs, the project aimed to supplant the lucrative UEFA Champions League .
But three of them (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Juventus Turin) continue to campaign for the Super League and this dispute over an alleged abuse of a dominant position by UEFA must be settled in early 2023 by the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.
Le Graët clings
At the same time, UEFA has launched a major reform of the Champions League for 2024, with 36 teams instead of 32, and an eight-day mini-championship instead of the traditional group stage.
TV rights have already been awarded for the record sum of fifteen billion euros over three years (2024-2027).
The other major project launched by Ceferin concerns financial fair play (FPF), created to avoid excessive spending by clubs.
UEFA reformed it in 2022, introducing a sort of cap on spending allocated to salaries, transfer fees and agent commissions, a reform whose long-term effectiveness will have to be measured.
Among the other positions to be filled in April in Lisbon, the president of the French Federation Noël Le Graët (81), candidate to remain one of the European representatives on the Council of Fifa, will for his part be opposed to his Portuguese counterpart Fernando Goms.
The eruption of the influential Gomes (70), vice-president of UEFA and reputed to be close to Ceferin, risks reshuffling the cards for the Breton leader, who has often displayed his closeness to the boss of Fifa Gianni Infantino .