The EU’s highest court has heard arguments against UEFA from the organizers of the short-lived breakaway Super League.
Super League lawyers have accused the governing body of European football of being a “monopolist” and abusing its dominant market position.
UEFA countered in a court in Luxembourg, comparing the clubs behind the Superliga to a “cartel” and claiming it was protecting grassroots interests in sport.
“A league that is closed to the richest clubs is incompatible with the merit-based European sporting model,” lawyer Donald Slater said on Monday.
The lawsuit could lead to the biggest upheaval in European football in more than 25 years.
The Super League project failed at launch in April 2021 after most of the 12 “rebel” clubs canceled their membership decisions.
But the company set up by the clubs – now led by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – has reopened its legal disputes in the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The court’s verdict is not expected for several months and will not affect the 12 Super League clubs that are all playing in UEFA competition next season.
The dispute between UEFA, the world football organization FIFA and the Super League will be followed closely by other sports as global revenues rise.