Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Vice-President Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi has stated that the collapse of the European Super League shows there is no football without the fans.
The European League has been suspended after 9 out of the 12 founding clubs pulled out amid intense pressure from fans, coaches, players and the media, including Nigeria Football’s VP.
All 6 English clubs that were originally a part of the group were the first to back out of the competition with Chelsea and Manchester City leading the way.
Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid soon followed the English clubs out of the Super League before AC Milan also confirmed their withdrawal leaving just Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus in the league.
When asked if the European Super League development could affect African football, Nigeria Football VP Akinwunmi told Goal: “Certainly. The two lessons learnt from this episode reverberates and will be reiterated around the world including Africa that without the fans there is no football and the football administration structures are in place for stability/fairness which must be respected.
“They, in turn, must listen to the yearnings of the clubs and appreciate their role in sustaining the multibillion-dollar product called football.”
Akinwunmi highlighted the beauty of open competition as well as the UEFA Champions League.
“The fans and the majority of football have spoken of my view,” he continued. “I grew up watching the leagues of the various countries and enjoyed the competition for [UEFA] Champions League places, been to Champions League matches and seen the value of such an open competition that impacts our enjoyment of football even far away here in Africa. I, therefore, could not be in support of anything that detracts from such competitiveness.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Super League chairman and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli admitted that the breakaway league cannot go ahead following the withdrawal of nine clubs.
“To be frank and honest no, evidently that is not the case,” Agnelli said.
“I remain convinced of the beauty of that project. But admittedly… I mean, I don’t think that that project is now still up and running.”
It remains to be seen as to what action is taken by the local governing bodies of the clubs that were involved in the Super League as the UEFA was more than happy to welcome them back with open arms. Treatment by the football associations might not be as lenient.