Bengaluru, April 22: Qatar's Nasser Ghanem Al Khelaifi has replaced Andrea Agnelli as chairman of the European Clubs Association (ECA) after the breakdown of the proposed European Super League.
Paris Saint-Germain – for whom Al Khelaifi is chairman and chief executive – were, along with Bayern Munich, one of the few heavyweight European clubs to elect against joining the planned breakaway competition, which collapsed before it ever got started.
Only Real Madrid and Barcelona are yet to confirm their withdrawal from the now-suspended tournament, after all six English teams involved pulled out on Tuesday, with Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and Milan following suit on Wednesday.
During a remarkable situation, Juve chief Agnelli – a major driving force behind the proposals – resigned from his post as the ECA chairman.
With PSG having rebuffed the invitation to join the European Super League, Al Khelaifi issued a strong statement condemning the actions of the 12 clubs and backing UEFA.
Al Khelaifi, who has been in charge of PSG since 2011, has now been handed a new role as Agnelli's replacement.
He is a man who wears different hats. Al Khelaifi heads the Qatar Tennis and Squash Federation and is also one of the vice presidents of the Asian Tennis Federation.
He also heads the Doha-based media conglomerate beINSPORT.
Nasser bin Ghanim Al-Khelaifi has been appointed as the Chairman of the European Club Association. https://t.co/2qPTRiTljQ— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) April 21, 2021
"I'm honoured and humbled to have been appointed by my fellow ECA Executive Board Members as chairman," Al Khelaifi said.
"The leadership, integrity and togetherness of our organisation has never been more required than at this pivotal moment in European football.
"I'll provide my unconditional commitment to the entire football community: that means to all ECA Member Clubs from every European nation, and to the fans and communities they represent.
"I, alongside all my fellow ECA Board Members and Clubs, am looking to reinforce ECA in its role as the legitimate and singular voice of Europe’s clubs. Our game, adored by generations of supporters, will only prosper under unity, and it is our duty as the custodians of football to fulfil this obligation."
The European Club Association (ECA) Executive Board has today appointed Nasser Al-Khelaifi (Chairman & CEO of Paris Saint-Germain) as the new Chairman of the ECA.https://t.co/IlCOSDXTim— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 21, 2021
The ECA said: "Following the unprecedented events of recent days, which has seen attempts to undermine the entire European football community, ECA – representing the leading football clubs of Europe – welcomes the decision from its former member clubs not to pursue their purported 'Super League' project.
"ECA believes that it is the responsibility of every member club to ensure that we develop football and leave it in a better place for the next generation; not to dismantle it purely for financial gain."
(With PSG Media/Omnisport inputs)