Plans for a renegade Super League were dealt a new blow after an EU legal adviser supported FIFA and UEFA.
Advocate General Athanasios Rantos said the European Court of Justice should side with soccer governing bodies and their regulations.
Rantos argued that the rules of the two international associations that blocked the renegade competition were compatible with European Union law.
Although Super League organizers are entitled to host an independent competition, they are not allowed to continue participating in UEFA and FIFA events without approval, he said on Thursday.
Rantos’ opinion serves as a guide for the European Court of Justice and, although not binding, is likely to be followed.
The Super League project collapsed in less than 48 hours in April 2021 after an outcry from fans, governments and players forced Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid to retreat.
The remaining Super League founders — Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus — have argued that UEFA violated European law by allegedly abusing its market dominance in soccer competitions.
UEFA has, however, stated that its rules protect the essentials of sport and fund grassroots football.
The panel “strongly” welcomed Rantos’ statement and said it was “an encouraging step towards maintaining the existing dynamic and democratic governance structure of the European soccer pyramid.”
The European Club Association, which represents the best soccer clubs in Europe, also stated that the Council “clearly rejects the efforts of a few to undermine the foundations and historical heritage of European football for many.”
The EU’s highest court is expected to make a final decision next year.