UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says Real Madrid are unlikely to be expelled from the Champions League despite not formally withdrawing from the European Super League.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, the Super League chairman, described the proposed tournament as being on “standby” on Thursday, despite nine of the 12 founding clubs withdrawing.
The La Liga side is set to face Chelsea in the semi-final first-leg on April 27 as scheduled, after UEFA executive committee member Jesper Moller had earlier this week said that the breakaway members could be banned.
“There is a relatively small chance that this match will not take place next week,” Ceferin told Slovenian broadcaster 24UR.
The other semi-final of Europe’s top club competition sees Manchester City face French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, who opposed the Super League.
Meanwhile, Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, said Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona would not currently be facing any punishment. Atletico announced their withdrawal on Wednesday.
“We are not talking about sanctions,” he said during a virtual news conference.
“Everyone wants to cut people’s heads off. We have to have a procedure and we have to see how it looks in the end. These clubs have been sanctioned by their own fans.”
The criticism from supporters and the wider footballing world at the proposal was almost universal, with Chelsea fans protesting in their hundreds outside Stamford Bridge ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League match against Brighton.
Speaking on the El Larguero show on Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Wednesday night, Perez insisted that the Super League was created to “save football at this critical moment”.
“In the end, there was an onslaught from the leagues and the Premier League got fired up, so they said, ‘we’ll leave it for now,'” he added.
However, Tebas was scathing in his assessment of the project and said: “These plans have dissolved like a lump of sugar.
“If the Super League was good for football, as (Real Madrid president) Florentino Perez has said, they wouldn’t have done it behind our backs.”
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol
There was a frantic race to be first to quit the European Super League (ESL) on Tuesday.
Manchester City were the first club to have serious doubts, quickly followed by Chelsea. There was a feeling that there was a small reputational benefit to be gained from being first to quit.
Chelsea were the first club to let it be known that they were leaving just before 7pm. At the same time, Man City were telling the ESL they were withdrawing and that was confirmed at 7.20pm. By then, the whole project was doomed.
The other clubs knew it was all over when Chelsea and City quit and during a series of phone calls it was agreed that Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham would announce they were leaving at 11pm.
There is a lot of anger and recrimination inside the breakaway clubs and the majority of it is directed at the small group of owners and chief executives who tried to push this through. There are a lot of unhappy managers and a lot of unhappy players.
I’ve been told that it will be very difficult for some of the people who were behind this to go into meetings with the other 14 Premier League clubs because the trust has gone. Apologies and statements aren’t going to be enough.