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Sunday, February 25, 2024

The head of UEFA received another blow: a very well-known collaborator, who spoke openly about Čeferin is leaving

By: C. R.

Former star of the Croatian national team, Dinamo Zagreb, and AC Milan is leaving the UEFA due to disagreements with the president of the European Football Association (UEFA) Aleksander Čeferin, according to reports from agencies. Boban’s departure was confirmed by UEFA, described as mutual, and they wished him the best of luck in the future.

Former Croatian national team member and member of Croatia’s golden generation from 1998, Zvonimir Boban, has written a public letter explaining the reasons for his departure. He mentioned his disagreement with changes to UEFA’s statute, which would confirm the possibility for UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin to run for a new four-year term in the period 2027-2031, as reported by Reuters and dpa. “After expressing my greatest concern and complete disagreement, the president responded to me that there is no legal or even moral-ethical problem for him and that he will undoubtedly follow his ambition,” he wrote, adding, “Paradoxically. In 2017, Čeferin himself proposed and initiated a reform package and categorically denied this possibility. With this rule, they wanted to protect UEFA and European football from poor governance, which had been the modus operandi of the entire old system for many years. This was an exceptional thing for football and also for Čeferin himself.”

“This departure from values with the abandonment of the most important reforms is surprising and incomprehensible. I understand well that nothing is ideal, least of all me, and I know that we must accept the logic of compromise, but if I supported this decision, it would be contrary to the principles and values ​​that I firmly believe in. And I am not a phenomenon because I am certainly not the only one who thinks that way,” Boban wrote. “My relationship and collaboration with Aleksander and all my colleagues at UEFA have been excellent for three years. I thank them for that and wish them all the best. I am very sorry because I am leaving reluctantly,” added Boban, noting that the main reforms of Čeferin at UEFA were the rules that no one should be in the presidential position for more than 12 years or three terms and that the age limit for members of the executive committee should be limited to 70 years.

Boban’s departure was also confirmed by UEFA, where they stated that it was a mutual departure. The former Croatian representative took on the role of technical director at UEFA in 2021, overseeing the establishment of UEFA’s football committee and youth football committee. “UEFA thanks Boban for his dedicated contribution and wishes him the best of luck in his future career challenges.”

The news of Boban’s departure came after the events in December, when especially in the English media, the alleged attempt by Čeferin to change UEFA’s statute, which would allow him another presidential term, raised eyebrows. These allegations were denied by UEFA at the time, emphasising that the possibility of another term for Čeferin is already provided for by existing regulations. The Grosuplje lawyer took office as president of UEFA in 2016 when he succeeded Michel Platini after less than two years in office. One of his proposals that paved the way for him to the presidency was also the limitation of the number of terms in UEFA to three. Under the existing statute, the limitation does not apply to mandates before the year of its introduction. Čeferin was unanimously elected for a third term in April last year at the UEFA Congress in Lisbon, which will end in 2027.

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