- Title: UEFA head Ceferin would love a fresh-looking final
- Date: 1st June 2017
- Summary: CARDIFF, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 1, 2017) (REUTERS) UEFA NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, ASKED ABOUT WIDENING GAPS IN WEALTH BETWEEN EUROPEAN LEAGUES AND CLUBS, SAYING: "I understand what you mean. The thing is that it's not easy to qualify for small clubs but it's still possible and it's a big challenge for a small club to try and qualify to the Champions League. We all know that the gap is wider and wider and we are working on it with the financial fair play. We're trying to stop it as much as possible but it's far from the closed league. It's far from only the elite competition. Some of the, let's say top five, six, seven clubs who are not qualified in the semi-finals. So it's also possible for other clubs to go quite high. But of course I understand what's your point. It's the gap is wider and wider every year." UEFA LOGO (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING: "Yes you are right. I would be as excited as you (to see different clubs reaching the semi-finals) and I hope they will qualify. Leicester was quite a new name this year but I understand what you mean and we're trying to make it possible forâ€¦ it's hard to say for everybody but at least for some of the small and mid-sized clubs or associations." "WE CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL" WRITTEN ON WALL AT NEWSER (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, TALKING ABOUT VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREES, SAYING: "No. Not yet but we will have to think about it. We know what happened this season with many things. So for now nothing happened concretely so for the next season but maybe Giorgio (Marchetti) can tell more." JOURNALISTS AT NEWSER (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA DEPUTY GENERAL SECRETARY, GIORGIO MARCHETTI, SAYING: "We are obviously following the tests that FIFA and the IFAB are doing with several competition organisers. Obviously in all FIFA competitions as it is the case now in the Under-20 (World Cup in South Korea). Clearly we'll have to take stock of the tests to see what UEFA has to do in future." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 15th June 2017 18:25
- Keywords: video technology wealth gap Aleksander Ceferin UEFA
- Location: CARDIFF, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: CARDIFF, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JG6S73
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Real Madrid against Juventus looks like a mouth-watering Champions League final but UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says he would also love to see some new names fighting it out at the business end of club football's ultimate club competition.
Although this is the first final meeting between the two heavyweights since 1998 they have faced each other in the knockout stages three times since, as well as in another four group-stage games.
That familiarity is to be found throughout the tournament over the last decade or so, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and City, Borussia Dortmund, Paris St German and a handful of others perennial qualifiers from a group stage that allows the biggest clubs to advance even if they suffer a few slips along the way.
The commercial demands of the game's big hitters ensures that there will never be a return to the original straight knockout format of the pre-Champions League European Cup but footballing romantics, including Ceferin it seems, might yearn for even some occasional new blood.
Last week Scotland's Celtic celebrated the 50th anniversary of becoming the first British club to win the European Cup. They beat then-mighty Inter Milan in the final but to get there they overcame FC Zurich, Nantes, FK Vojvodina and Dukla Prague.
Those clubs and dozens more like them can now only dream about being two or three wins away from glory and Ceferin recognises the fact.
UEFA decided last year to offer more guaranteed Champions League places to Europe's four biggest leagues.
The executive committee also agreed on Thursday to continue the "ABBA" experiment which uses a tie-break order in penalty shoot-outs and also with the experimental use of red and yellow cards for team officials and coaches - but made no progress on the implementation of video technology.
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