The new President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, today met with UEFA President Michel Platini, who was able to put forward the case for many of the current issues affecting European sport and football in particular, which require the understanding and support of the European Union and the European Parliament.

Coming off the back of the UEFA President’s historic speech to the European Parliament on 18 February 2009, this morning’s meeting advanced many of the most important causes in European football.

Five key issues
Under discussion today were five key issues. Firstly, the protection of the European sporting model based on the pyramidal structure and the notions of the specificity of sport and autonomy of the sports federations. Secondly, the new initiative spearheaded by Michel Platini concerning Financial Fair Play in football, which will become active in European football and is under the control of the former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene. The third issue discussed was the protection of minors and the clubs that train them. The fourth point on the agenda was the issue of betting in football and, more specifically, corruption and match-fixing. Finally, talks also centred on the forthcoming UEFA EURO 2012™ final round in Poland/Ukraine, and the role it will play in helping to unite the east and west of Europe.

‘Same outlook’
Speaking after the meeting today, Mr Platini said: “I am extremely pleased that the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, and I share the same outlook and I am pleased that he has encouraged us in our efforts on Financial Fair Play, the protection of minors and their forming clubs, as well as in our fight against corruption linked to betting. I would also like to thank the President of the European Parliament for having agreed to join UEFA’s Friends of Football.”

Policy support
Mr Buzek added: “Welcome back to the European Parliament, Mr Platini. I congratulate you on UEFA’s licensing system, and on your new proposals for Financial Fair Play. These are good policies for European football and I fully support all the initiatives of UEFA and President Platini which are crucial for football in Europe. In addition I am pleased that you agreed to support a football match, to take place in May of 2010, between members of the European Parliament and members of the National Parliaments to mark the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration.”

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