The Aleksander Čeferin Show

He may preach good governance and transparency, but after a year as UEFA president, a pattern has emerged: Aleksander Čeferin has a relaxed relationship with facts and rules. By Håvard Melnæs and Pål Ødegård Tomorrow the 55 presidents of Europe’s national football associations will meet in Geneva, Switzerland for the 13th extraordinary UEFA congress. We can expect 55 middle-aged men grinning, shaking hands and congratulating themselves with a job well done. On the surface their show is running pretty smoothly, despite the fact that their two previous presidents involuntary had to leave their positions. Michel Platini was excluded from football for “financial wrongdoing” after it was revealed that he had received 2 million dollars from former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2011 as back payment for an advisory role he had for the Swiss in years from 1998 till 2002. Ángel María Villar, in capacity as then vice president replaced Platini when he was forced to resign and until Aleksander Čeferin was elected new UEFA president in September last year, will miss his first congress in years after serving as the Spanish FA’s president since 1988 and being the vice president of UEFA since 2002. Spanish police arrested him in July on embezzlement, corruption and fraudulence charges. At the FIFA congress two months earlier in Bahrain in May, president Gianni Infantino told the audience: “If there is anyone in this room [...] that still thinks that he can enrich himself, that he can abuse football, I have one, clear and strong message to tell him: Leave. Leave football. And leave football now. We don’t want you.” Amongst the men not paying any attention to these remarks, was Infantino’s vice president. Ángel Maria Villar. Out of...

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