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UEFA Set To Introduce New European Club Competition

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UEFA has confirmed it is ‘looking at a variety of options’ in the wake of reports that a third club cup competition is set to be introduced.

The Professional Football Strategy Council met in Monaco ahead of the Champions League draw on Thursday to discuss a variety of matters impacting the professional game.

Among the topics at the meeting chaired by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin was an update from the Club Competitions Committee on ongoing work regarding the 2021-2024 cycle.

German newspaper Bild reported soon after that it had been decided to introduce a third continental club competition below the Champions League and Europa League in three years’ time.

A statement from European football’s governing body in response to that report read: ‘UEFA is constantly reviewing the format of its competitions and is looking at a variety of options in this respect.

‘UEFA is discussing various ideas within its Club Competitions Committee before any decision on potential changes would be made.’

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Barcelona Announce New Financial Boost

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Barcelona

Barcelona have announced they’re getting their finances on track.

 

 

Barca has issued an official statement communicating that it has received a stable triple B negative rating from the credit rating agency Fitch.

 

 

This is an important vote of confidence in terms of the club’s image. It is worth remembering that the club has already reached an agreement with the American investment fund Goldman Sachs, which has loaned the club 500 million euros.

 

 

The same fund already injected 90 million euros into the club during Josep Maria Bartomeu‘s presidency, with said loan conceived to aid the development of the Espai Barça project.

 

 

In a statement, the club announced:

“The sporting and financial project of the new FC Barcelona board of directors has received a vote of confidence in receiving a stable triple B negative credit rating from the credit rating agency Fitch.

 

 

“The credit rating agency gives a triple B rating to companies that are satisfactory at the time of rating, just as has happened to FC Barcelona after their assessment.

 

 

“With this BBB stable negative rating the Fitch agency values positively the Club’s financial project, which will have to undergo important readjustments to balance books.

 

 

“The confidence shown by Fitch allows the Club to look to the future with optimism and at a moment when the organisation is adjusting is financial viability plan as well as its strategic plan.”

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Gerrard Frustrated With Liverpool Links: I Don’t Welcome It, I Don’t Add To It…

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Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard does not welcome the speculation linking him with replacing Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

 

 

The Reds legend is consistently linked as a future replacement for Klopp, who is expected to leave Anfield when his contract expires in 2024.

 

 

But Gerrard is unhappy about the speculation as he is “very happy” in Glasgow.

 

 

Asked about the constant links to his old club and England, Gerrard told ESPN: “I can’t control any media speculation about my position.

 

 

“I don’t welcome it, I don’t add to it. All I do is focus on the job I have here and I’m very flattered and grateful for the position.

 

 

“I’m very happy here, I’ve said it on numerous occasions, it’s a huge club, I’m settled, I’m happy and I can continue to develop and keep trying to push this team forward.”

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Tokyo Olympics: Nigeria Leads Countries With Highest Figure Of Banned Athletes

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OLYMPICS

Ten athletes from Nigeria have been banned from participating in the Tokyo Olympics.

 

 

While the names of the affected athletes were not released, a statement from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), revealed that a total of 18 athletes have been declared ineligible, with Nigeria being the most affected.

 

According to AIU, the 10 athletes from Nigeria failed the minimum testing requirements under Rule 15.

 

 

“Under the framework of Rule 15 governing National Federation Anti-Doping Obligations, which came into force in January 2019, National Federations are accountable for ensuring appropriate anti-doping measures are in place in their respective jurisdictions.

 

 

“Among other things, the Rule sets out minimum requirements for testing on the national teams of ‘Category A’ federations deemed to have the highest doping risk and considered as a threat to the overall integrity of the sport.

 

 

“The key requirement in Rule 15 is that an athlete from a ‘Category A’ country must undergo at least three no-notice out-of competition tests (urine and blood) conducted no less than 3 weeks apart in the 10 months leading up to a major event. Only then do they become eligible to represent their national team at the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games.

 

 

“For the year 2021, the seven identified ‘Category A’ National Federations are: Belarus, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

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