UEFA welcomes the European Commission Communication on sport, published today, as a positive development for sport and the future of European football.
The Communication proposes ways in which the new European Union competence in sport, created by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, could be implemented. In the Communication the European Commission gives its backing to many of UEFA's core values and key policies, including:
• UEFA's Financial Fair Play Regulations
• Centralised sale of television rights
• Specific intellectual property rights for sport competition organisers
• Fight against illegal betting and match-fixing
• Four key areas of the European sports model
UEFA is particularly pleased to note that the European Commission endorses UEFA's Financial Fair Play Regulations in its Communication on sport. The commission also recommends centralised selling of media rights, which is essential for the stable financial future of European football at all levels from grassroots to professional sport.
UEFA president Michel Platini said: "I am very happy to see the European Commission on our side on so many important issues for the future of European football. The commission recognises the need to put football's finances in order, something that the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations will help to do. The commission's positive approach to the European sports model is also great news for football."
The Commission Communication gives backing to four cornerstones of the European sports model: open competitions, the pyramid structure of competitions with the principles of promotion and relegation, organisation of sport on a national basis, and financial solidarity between grassroots and professional sport.
The commission acknowledges that there is a link between illicit betting and match-fixing. UEFA stands ready to contribute to any EU policy developments in this field, in particular with regard to a pan-European approach to fight any kind of sporting fraud. The Communication also explicitly mentions sports organisers' specific rights in the context of betting, something that UEFA has been advocating.
UEFA supports this Communication and is optimistic that it will help form the basis of a more coherent legal structure for sport in the EU.
Michel Platini said: "Financial stability has to be combined with legal stability, one of the remaining crucial issues for us. We also need urgent action on a topic close to my heart, the fight against match-fixing. I look forward to working with all relevant partners on these issues, as the world of sports cannot solve them alone."
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