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The Independent: UEFA revolts over Čeferin's decision

Maksym InshakovNews
Alexander Čeferin wants to stay in power for a few more years

A split has formed in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) over the plans of the current head of UEFA, Alexander Čeferin, to run for re-election for a 4th term, The Independent reports. Răzvan Burleanu, who heads the Romanian federation, is gaining more and more support.

On December 11, it became known that Čeferin intends to achieve the abolition of restrictions on the number of years during which one can lead the organization. The relevant amendments have already been approved by UEFA's governing board and executive committee and will be put to a vote at the congress on February 8 next year.

Alexander Čeferin

This would mean that Čeferin would remain in power for 15 years, replacing the ousted Michel Platini after his four-year suspension for accepting a bribe from former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

There is a growing argument among the heads of federations that such a move would be an undemocratic return to the old days and would not be in the interests of football.

The media clarified that the issue of Čeferin's desire to continue his presidency was becoming an increasingly serious problem on the eve of the Euro 2024 draw in Hamburg, but the events in the German city brought this issue to a head.

Alexander Čeferin

This situation illustrates how football governance continues to adapt after Qatar's unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup in December 2010. It was the reports of corruption resulting from this process that ultimately led to regime change at both UEFA and FIFA.

The peculiarity of the FIFA statute is that the years when the previous candidate was replaced do not count towards the full term, and Čeferin is actually trying to make a similar argument here.

Gianni Infantino and Alexander Čeferin

Čeferin hopes that these proposals will be ratified at the February UEFA Congress in Paris, where a majority - 28 out of 55 member states - will be required.

It has been suggested that Čeferin "falls into the same desire to stay in power" as many figures in such football positions, and that is why term limits are so important.

Răzvan Burleanu

It is in this context that Burleanu finds support. He has been the head of the Romanian federation since 2014 and is considered an excellent and responsible administrator, having grown up in the family of former top-flight footballer Gheorghe Burleanu, who is connected to the game.

The 39-year-old Romanian wrote his doctoral thesis in organizational management and has worked in Romanian politics as well as in several UEFA working groups. Burleanu was elected to the FIFA Council in April 2021.

Alexander Čeferin

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