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UEFA chief Ceferin to step down in 2027 despite support over rule change

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin today received the green light from Europe’s football associations to stand for a fourth term, only to announce within minutes he did not wish to continue in the role beyond 2027.

Ceferin put forward a proposal in December to change UEFA statutes that would enable a president to continue beyond three terms. That was heard, and passed, by the UEFA congress this morning with only the English FA voting against the move.

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Having got the support he needed to potentially stay until 2031, Ceferin then held a press conference at which he said he was tired and would walk away in three years’ time to spend more time with his family.

The Slovenian said: “It’s my decision if I want to run in 2027. I am tired after covid, two wars and nonsense projects such as the European Super League.

“What makes me happy and proud is that I am the captain of a ship that has navigated a storm very well and we will continue to do that over the next three years.

“The football community is united like it has never been united before. Be sure that the majority of people in football are not clowns, the majority love our beautiful game.

“I decided six months ago that I would not run any more. The reason is that after some time every organisation needs fresh blood, but mainly because I was away from my family for seven years now.”

In revealing why he waited until after the vote before making the announcement, he added: “I intentionally didn’t want to disclose my thoughts before, because firstly, I wanted to see the real face of some people and I saw it. I saw good and bad.

“And secondly, I didn’t want to influence the vote. I have to say it was amusing to see this hysteria all around.

“I have a beautiful life in football, I have a beautiful life outside of football as well.”

It is thought his reference to seeing “the real face of some people” was a swipe at UEFA’s former chief of football Zvonimir Boban, who resigned in protest at Ceferin’s plans to change the UEFA statutes around terms and described them as “disastrous” in an open letter to the Croatian press.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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