UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has dismissed reports that clubs from Saudi Arabia would be allowed to play in the Champions League in the future.
“Only European clubs can participate in the Champions League, the Europa League or the Conference league,” the president of the European football ruling body told the L’Equipe newspaper.
This is coming ahead of the Champions League group stage draw on Thursday.
In spite the strong financial growth of the Saudi league, which attracted the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Sadio Mane recently, Ceferin doesn’t see the country as a threat to European football.
“We had a similar situation with China, which bought players at the end of their careers and offered them a lot of money.
“The result was that Chinese football didn’t develop after that,” Ceferin recalled.
“As far as I know, (Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian) Mbappe and (Manchester City striker Erling) Haaland are not dreaming about Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Ceferin said that the approach used by Saudi Arabia “is not the right way” and that the Saudi league “should work on the education of players and coaches, but that’s not my problem.”