USA set to host future Champions League final

USA set to host future Champions League final

Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA, said in a podcast interview that it is “possible” for a future Champions League final to take place in the United States, describing the country as “a very important, promising market for the future.” Last year, reports suggested that a four-team super cup may be played there to kick off the 2024 season. Get the most recent Premier League news by following us! 

“It’s possible. We started to discuss about that but then one year it was the World Cup, (20)24 is Euros, this year is in Istanbul, ’24 is in London and ’25 is in Munich and after that, let’s see,” Ceferin said. “Football is extremely popular in the United States these days … Americans are ready to pay for best and nothing for the less. So, they will follow European football as basketball lovers in Europe follow the NBA.”

Ceferin, who was was re-elected UEFA president for a third term after going unopposed during the 2023 election, also expressed his shocked when he discovered that Euro Euro finals (in 2021) were watched by more people in the United States than the NBA finals, while each of 30 matches of the Euro was a Super Bowl viewership. Don’t miss updates in sports and more here at OBN!

The most recent Super Bowl attracted an average of 113 million viewers on U.S. television and digital platforms. “It’s a very important, promising market for the future,” he added. “The thing is that we are selling rights very well. Sponsorship is so-so for now from the U.S., but here (in the U.S.), commercialization is completely different than in Europe. They are much more talented for that than us.”

However, Ceferin highlighted that the time difference will be a problem as the afternoon game in the Pacific coast would see matches kick off around midnight in Europe. Previously, the English Premier League made a similar proposal in 2008 called ‘Game 39’ where there will be an extra round of domestic top-flight matches outside England. It was later scrapped and ultimately came to nothing.

In recent years, several sporting events have taken place away from their “home” venues, with the NFL frequently holding regular-season games in London, while collaborations of football federations such as UEFA and CONCACAF have produced decent cross viewership. Most recently, FIFA staged the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the first in the Arab world and Muslim world, and the second in Asia.

When asked about his relationship with FIFA, Ceferin said that they have a “complicated relationship” but a “bit better” than before as they agreed on some terms. “Of course, it’s paradoxical a bit because UEFA is not a member of FIFA and UEFA is independent from FIFA. It’s not like other sports where you have a world governing body and then under them the local or continental governing bodies,” he said.

The 55-year-old also revealed that he pushes for the introduction of a salary cap in European soccer “as soon as possible”. This rule will require clubs’ spending on transfer fees and salaries to be no more than 70 per cent of their revenue. “It’s not about the owners, it’s about the value of the competition, because if five clubs will always win then it doesn’t make sense anymore,” he said.