London, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham are among 12 clubs who have agreed to join a new European Super League (ESL).
In a seismic move for European football, the Premier League clubs will join AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
The ESL said the founding clubs had agreed to establish a “new midweek competition” with teams continuing to “compete in their respective national leagues”.
It said the inaugural season was “intended to commence as soon as practicable” and “anticipated that a further three clubs” would join the breakaway.
Critics say the move is being driven purely by money, would destroy domestic leagues and is against the integrity of the sport.
Unlike the UEFA Champions League, which teams must qualify for, the ESL would include the same 15 teams every year, with the remaining five qualifying annually.
World governing body FIFA had previously said it would not recognise such a competition, and any players involved could be denied the chance to play at a World Cup.
UEFA, Europe’s governing body, reiterated that warning on when it said players involved would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level and could be prevented from representing their national teams.
After the ESL was announced, FIFA expressed its “disapproval” of the proposed competition and called on “all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game”.
The ESL has sent a letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin issuing notice of legal proceedings in European courts designed to block any sanctions the two governing bodies may try enforce over the formation of the ESL, BBC sports reported.
Source: Oman News Agency