UEFA boss has doubts about consolation Nations League final, as does De Jong
UEFA boss also finds playing calendar full, but also: ‘Frenkie is not paying attention’
Consideration is being given within the European Football Association to abolishing the Nations League consolation final, UEFA President Alexander Ceferin said in conversation with NOS.
It is not about next Sunday’s match between Orange and Italy: that will go ahead as usual. It is, however, whether the battle for the third and fourth spots is tenable in the future.
That has everything to do with the overcrowded playing calendar. According to Ceferin, that is a problem and the welfare of footballers is priority number one. Where possible, UEFA wants to look at a solution.
“To be honest, I have my doubts about that match, but it has already been decided.”
Whether UEFA will say goodbye to the consolation final phenomenon after this edition of the Nations League? “We don’t know yet, but we are definitely thinking about it,” he said.
Among other things, Ceferin responds to Frenkie de Jong, who this week indicated he had no appetite for a match for the sake of it. Certainly not after a long, tiring season with a World Cup in between.
“You have been eliminated. There’s no point anymore,” De Jong spoke to the NOS camera shortly after the Orange’s loss against Croatia. Speaking to Voetbal International, he said, “A match for third place is not necessary. Nobody is waiting for that.”
To the magazine, De Jong went a step further. “This is obviously done to make even more money from the TV rights. They are doing it purely for the money,” he referred to the increasing number of matches in the European context.
According to Ceferin, things are different. “Before you talk about this, you should be informed,” he said vehemently. “The money goes directly to the federations for the development of soccer. It does not go to UEFA and not to me personally.”
Slovenian Ceferin, who has been soccer president for seven years, stressed: UEFA distributes 97 percent of all its money so that associations can develop (youth) soccer. In addition, UEFA wants to help clubs generate revenue.
“Clubs need matches. With this revenue they can pay players. It’s a vicious circle,” he said.
When it comes to the full playing calendar, Ceferin supports De Jong. He calls the playing calendar “extremely full,” while the new format of the Champions League (nota bene a UEFA tournament) only adds more matches.