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The Champions League Final Could Be Headed To New York City

Newly elected UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin outlined his vision for football's administrative body in Europe during an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday. Ceferin’s most newsworthy propositions are the repercussions from reviving UEFA’s open bidding process for the right to host the Champions League final.

Previously, stadium hosts were decided in secret under the leadership of disgraced former president Michel Platini, but Ceferin has been adamant that the process will undergo a massive reform.

“The bidding process should be very clear because if you get the Champions League finals or Europa league finals as a political favor then it’s not OK,” said Ceferin.

Essentially, opening the bidding process would allow for American cities like New York to enter the process. Ceferin said he was open to such a bid becoming a reality.

“I think it might be an idea in future but we have to speak about it. To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York,” said Ceferin. “For the fans it’s no problem but we should see. It’s a European competition so let’s think about it.”

When asked if an open bidding process might still be susceptible to corruption and underhand dealings, much like FIFA’s process for the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Ceferin replied: “With a clear bidding procedure I will protect also the administration and myself because whoever tries to call us, to push us, to ask us for such a favor we will have a clear answer, ‘Sorry there are clear rules we cannot do it’.”


Other interesting takeaways from the interview include Ceferin discussing the idea of moving Champions League semifinals to the weekend, and his refusal to adjust kickoff times to capitalize on the expanding football market in Asia.

Ceferin also confirmed that North America is an almost certainty to host the 2026 World Cup given that Europe have been blocked from hosting it (because of Russia having the 2018 World Cup) and the potential issues surrounding hosting the tournament in Africa.

Finally, Ceferin gave details on the talks surrounding expanding the World Cup to 40 or 48 teams. It’s an awesome insight into the astounding incompetencies of the organization: “We didn’t want to vote on it as it was too early,” Ceferin said of his first FIFA Council meeting. “We simply didn’t get any information about it. Nothing. Just shall we expand or not. We said we cannot say.”

Ceferin believes there should be some "proper analysis" on the merits of overhauling the tournament and including more teams. For FIFA and Gianni Infantino, that’s probably asking too much.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Follow me on Twitter: @ConmanFleming

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