Manchester United could be thrown out of this season’s Europa League semi-final by Uefa, according to reports.
United are one of five teams still in European competition this season who have announced they are forming the controversial new European Super League.
The announcement has caused outrage and shock waves around football and Uefa appear to be coming out fighting straight away, with one member, the head of the Danish FA, Jesper Moller stating that the three ESL clubs still in the Champions League should be banned on Friday.
‘I think we who love football have had enough now,’ Moller told Danish TV channel DR.
‘Now a line must be drawn in the sand.
‘The clubs are going out, and I expect that to happen on Friday, and then you have to see how to finish the Champions League.
‘The teams must be excluded as soon as possible.’
From this, it is widely assumed that United and Arsenal, semi-finalists in the Uefa Europa league, will also be banned, with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin reported by Reuters as saying at an emergency meeting yesterday ‘As soon as possible they (the clubs) and the players have to be banned from all our competitions.’
The legality of whether or not Uefa can do this is unknown as it is a complex and unprecedented situation.
‘Uefa is consulting lawyers on whether it can suspend the breakaway clubs from European competition and ban players from international tournaments,’ The Times reports.
‘Gianni Infantino, the Fifa president, is due to reinforce that message, but could such moves and Uefa statutes be contested? Will it be through national courts or the European Commission? How does this work across borders?
‘The breakaway clubs insist that they have filed legal papers designed to protect their interests and to ward off any possible injunctions or expulsions — and the more lawyers you speak to, the more it becomes clear that we are venturing into unpredictable new ground.’
If Uefa’s lawyers advise them that they can go ahead and ban the clubs on Friday, or indeed if the body decides to ban them anyway even if it means facing a legal challenge later, it will end United’s pursuit of silverware this season in the most catastrophic of ways.