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Are there too many UEFA competitions?

206   //    13 Feb 2019, 16:34 IST

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin

By abolishing the old Cup Winner's Cup at the dawn of the new millennium, European football's governing body UEFA demonstrated that it was still in touch with the wishes of clubs and players alike. Neither group wanted to continue to compete in an increasingly meaningless tournament, and football's powers that be on the continent had the good sense to discontinue it.

But now they've added the completely unnecessary UEFA Nations League and have agreed to add the UEFA Europa League 2 in a few seasons' time. It seems that they have lost track of their mission to make decisions for the good of European football, in the endless pursuit to enrich themselves.

Professional players who compete at the highest levels of the game are overwhelmed as it is, with domestic and continental competitions for their club teams. That's to say nothing of their national team duties. For that reason alone, it should be clear that UEFA (and FIFA for that matter) should at least refrain from creating new tournaments out of thin air.

Injuries and exhaustion have taken their toll not only on players, but also on coaches/managers who are now under more pressure than ever to perform. We are forgetting that football is above all else a game that should first and foremost bring joy to everyone involved. That aspect is sadly being pushed by the wayside with each passing day.

If UEFA absolutely must create new competitions, why not do it in the women's game, in order to foster its professionalization across the continent?

To be fair, while we're on the topic of women's football, UEFA has recently invested a great deal of cash there. But throwing money at a problem does not always fix it.

Currently, only a small number of teams from France, England and Germany are good enough to compete for the one existing continental honor, the UEFA Women's Champions League. Adding a second women's club competition would encourage more clubs and leagues to raise their level of play.

In any event, current UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who has just been re-elected to his position unopposed, should listen more to players and club representatives. He wouldn't want to be seen as being above them, as the disgraced former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter clearly was.