UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin has dismissed reports that the European association would allow clubs from Saudi Arabia to play in the Champions League.
Ceferin, speaking to L’Equipe newspaper ahead of the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday, “Only European clubs can participate in the Champions League, the Europa League or the Conference League.”
The UEFA President doesn’t see the recent influx of players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Sadio Mané into the Saudi Pro League as a threat to European football, despite the strong financial growth of the league.
“We had a similar situation with China, which bought players at the end of their careers and offered them a lot of money.
“The result was that Chinese football didn’t develop after that,” Ceferin recalled.
“As far as I know, Mbappé and Haaland are not dreaming about Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Ceferin said that the approach used by Saudi Arabia is not the right way and that the Saudi league “should work on the education of players and coaches, but that’s not my problem.”