(WFI) Executive committee members, including the president, will no longer be able to serve more than three terms in the Union of European Football Associations.

Aleksander Ceferin (Wikimedia Commons)

The term limits are part of a broader reform package updating the UEFA statues at the body’s congress in Hensinki. Many of the statues had been in place since last July, but are now being applied for the election of the UEFA Executive Committee members.

Zbigniew Boniak of Poland, John Delaney of Ireland, Reinhard Grindel of Germany, Karl-Erik Nilsson of Sweden, Michele Uva of Italy and Servet Yardimci of Turkey were elected to the executive council in Helsinki for the first time. The six new members were joined by David Gill of England and Michael van Praag of the Netherlands, who were re-elected.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin was joined by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the congress. Infantino was secretary general of UEFA before being elected FIFA President. Ceferin was elected last year after previous President Michel Platini was implicated in the FIFA corruption scandal.

At the congress Infantino spoke of greater cooperation between UEFA and FIFA, after relations had cooled under previous FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

“This stupid rivalry between UEFA and FIFA does not exist anymore and does not have to exist,” Infantino said.

Ceferin announced in Helsinki that UEFA had made a profit of $108.7 million last year and had reserves of $675 million. As a result, UEFA increased payments to each federation by $1.07 million.

“The additional payments to each member-federation meanwhile are the result of big earnings from national team events such as Euro 2016,” Ceferin said. “UEFA is not here to accumulate wealth, while [associations] struggle to develop football in the furthest reaches of [their] territories.”

Clash Between Clubs and UEFA Continue

Comments made by Ceferin at the Congress show no solution in sight to a standoff between the European Professional Football Leagues and UEFA.

Ceferin said that UEFA would not give in to “blackmail” from the continent’s clubs and vowed to protect smaller leagues around Europe.

The EPFL has been critical of UEFA leadership after being frozen out from talks over Champions League revenue distribution and entry allocation. A deal between the EPFL and UEFA over Champions and Europa League fixtures expired last month. As a result all leagues around Europe are now free to schedule domestic matches at the same time as European club fixtures.

“We will never give in to the blackmail of those who think they can manipulate small leagues or impose their will on the associations because they think they are all powerful on account of the astronomical revenues they generate,” Ceferin said about the current situation.

Homepage Photo: Flickr

By INSIDER Aaron Bauer

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