Aleksander Ceferin takes swipe as he rules out extra term as Uefa president | Uefa
Aleksander Ceferin has announced he will not stand for a further term as Uefa president in 2027. Changes to the Uefa statutes at Thursday’s Congress in Paris made a further term that would extend to 2031 possible, but Ceferin has ruled that out.
“I decided six months ago that I would not run any more,” he said at a press conference. “The reason is that after some time every organisation needs fresh blood, but mainly because I was away from my family for seven years now.
“I intentionally didn’t want to disclose my thoughts before, because firstly, I wanted to see the real face of some people and I saw it. I have a beautiful life in football, I have a beautiful life outside of football as well.”
The Football Association had stood alone in showing the red card to the changes in Uefa’s rules which allowed Ceferin the option of standing for a further four-year term from 2027.
The FA chief executive, Mark Bullingham, was the sole national federation delegate to hold up a red card rejecting the amendments at the Uefa Congress in Paris, but the motion passed with 49 of the 55 associations holding up a green card in support.
The FA, along with Norway and Iceland, had sought to break up the bundle of rule amendments, because it wholeheartedly supports most of the measures proposed, including an increase in minimum female representation on the Uefa executive committee from one to two.
However, a decision was taken to vote for the amendments as a package, forcing the FA to vote against the term limit amendment as a matter of principle, rather than a vote against Ceferin himself.
In his opening speech to Congress, Ceferin said: “My daughter actually told me: ‘Father, sometimes I think you are a character from The Lord of the Rings.’ But I’m not. I’m not interested in the ring.”
In the JRR Tolkien books, the One Ring gives power to its wearer to rule over all those who wore the other rings. Ceferin said: “The ancient Romans said: ‘Whatever you do, do it wisely.’ We should all work that direction, then life would be much easier.”
An FA spokesperson said: “We believe that it was always intended that a principle of three terms of four years should be a maximum period for any Uefa exco member to serve. We have recently implemented governance changes of our own and think it’s important that we are consistent in our approach.”