The Slovenia Times

Čeferin not to seek another term as UEFA boss

UEFA boss Aleksander Čeferin. Photo: dpa/STA

Slovenian lawyer Aleksander Čeferin has announced he will not seek another term as UEFA president in 2027, just after UEFA congress passed controversial changes to the statutes of the governing body of European football to extend term limits that would have allowed him to do so.

Addressing the press after the congress in Paris on 8 February, Čeferin said he had made the decision not to run again about six months ago.

The 56-year-old has led UEFA since 2016, when he was appointed for a term of two and a half years to succeed Michel Platini, who was suspended early over corruption. Čeferin won a full term in 2019 and then again in 2023.

Čeferin said he was "tired of Covid, tired of 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," he said, adding that he was proud the football community "is united like it has never been united before".

During his term Čeferin managed to fight off FIFA's plans to hold the World Cup every two years and was praised for running UEFA during the Covid pandemic. He has also successfully stopped an attempt at creating a European Super League.

But he faced criticism that by changing the statute he was going against his own reform, which limited the term of UEFA head to 12 years or three terms.

Yet UEFA noted before the congress that Čeferin, who has so far served only two full terms, could run for another term in 2027 even under the existing rules.

Still, he decided that the 2023-2027 would be his last term at the helm of UEFA. "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," he said.

He "intentionally didn't want to disclose" his decision before the vote "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."

Radenko Mijatović, the president of the Football Association of Slovenia, expressed regret, but said the association respected Čeferin's decision.

"It is a pity for UEFA and for football that he made this decision just when UEFA has become united, strong and stable enough against all those stakeholders who are trying to assert their interests. I think it will be difficult for anyone else to achieve such a level of unity," Mijatović told the newspaper Večer.


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