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FA to vote against Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin as term-limit row deepens

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin interviewed by Telegraph Sport in Nyon
Aleksander Ceferin is looking to remain as Uefa president until 2031 - Siggi Bucher

The Football Association is set to break rank and vote against controversial changes to Uefa rules that will allow its president Aleksander Ceferin to extend his term until 2031.

Until now, the most powerful administrator in European football has been limited to a maximum three terms in office. Ceferin, who took over in 2016 and was re-elected in 2019 and last year, is likely to win a vote on Thursday to alter his body’s statutes.

The FA is among a maximum four national governing bodies who are predicted by insiders to vote in protest against the amendment, which appears certain to pass. Ceferin has rallied fresh support since long-term ally, ex-Croatia and AC Milan superstar Zvonimir Boban, resigned from his role as Uefa’s technical director last month in protest.

An effective allowance for Ceferin to run for a further full term from 2027 to 2031 is included in a bundle of rule changes to be voted on in Paris. The FA is understood to have pushed for the statute amendments to be unbundled because it wholeheartedly supports most of the other changes proposed – such as increasing the minimum number of female representatives on the ruling Uefa executive committee from one to two.

However, it does have concerns over the change to the term limits. FA sources insist this is a governance position, rather than a vote against Ceferin.

It is not yet known whether any of the FA representatives in Paris, who include chair Debbie Hewitt and chief executive Mark Bullingham, will speak out against the amendments during the Congress.

Boban described the term limit proposal as “disastrous” in an open resignation letter published last month. “If I were to accept such a difficult and wrong decision and turn my head, I would be going against the principles and general values in which I deeply believe,” the former Croatia and AC Milan playmaker said.

Ceferin was re-elected unopposed for a four-year term at last year’s Uefa Congress in Lisbon. Elsewhere on Wednesday, Uefa’s executive committee gave its approval to how the money from its new-look men’s club competitions will be split in the 2024-27 cycle.

The split had first been disclosed in September last year after the agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding between Uefa and the European Club Association (ECA).

Of the projected €4.4 billion (£3.75 billion) it expects to earn in each year of the cycle, €3.317 billion (£2.83 billion) will be reserved for clubs that participate in the new league stages of the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

The percentage split between the competitions stays the same as the current cycle, with Champions League clubs receiving 74.38 per cent – projected to be €2.467 billion (£2.1 billion).

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