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Boban quits UEFA in row over Ceferin’s plan to extend his reign

Zvonimir Boban, technical director of European football federation, has reportedly resigned in protest at president Aleksander Ceferin’s bid to extend his stay in power.

Boban, 55-year-old former Croatia captain and midfielder and senior FIFA official, was appointed by UEFA in 2021.

Recently-enacted rules state that UEFA presidents may serve three terms in office but Ceferin wants to run for a fourth term in 2027 because his first reign completed the term of Michel Platini, who had resigned in 2016. He put his plan before the recent UEFA executive committee at which serious concerns were apparently expressed by treasurer David Will.

If re-elected, Ceferin would remain at the head of UEFA until 2031. A vote on his proposal is due at UEFA Congress in Paris on February.

BOBAN’S STATEMENT

Boban, in a statement, said:

“Although I have expressed my deepest concerns and my total rejection of the plan, the UEFA president sees no legal problems with the proposed changes, let alone moral or ethical ones. He intends to go through with this in order to advance his personal ambitions.

“These rules were intended to protect UEFA and European football from ‘bad governance’, which had unfortunately been ‘normal behavior’ for years.

Boban added that he considered Ceferin’s move “completely incomprehensible”.

He said: “I recognize that nothing is ideal, including myself, and compromises are necessary at times. However, supporting this change would go against all of my principles and values, which I believe in with all my heart and which I stand for. I’m not trying to be some kind of hero, especially because I’m not alone in that mindset.

“With sadness and a heavy heart, I have no other option but to leave UEFA.”

UEFA STATEMENT

“UEFA wishes to announce the departure of Zvonimir Boban from the organisation by mutual agreement.

“Boban joined the organisation in 2021 as the Chief of Football and initiated several significant projects in technical development, including the establishment of the UEFA Football Board and the Youth Football Forum.

“UEFA extends its gratitude to Mr Boban for his dedicated service and wishes him the best of luck in his future career endeavours.”

Credit: AIPS Media 

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