AP NEWS

Bundesliga CEO warns against Champions League on weekends

January 15, 2019
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, Bayern's Thomas Mueller protests during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and Fortuna Duesseldorf in Munich, Germany. Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller has been banned for both games against Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16. UEFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a two-game ban for Mueller's red card after a bad tackle against Ajax last month. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

The head of the organization representing domestic soccer leagues is against Champions League matches in Europe being played on weekends.

World Leagues Forum chairman Christian Seifert used his New Year’s speech as Bundesliga CEO on Tuesday to warn multinational club competitions to stick to midweek fixtures.

Seifert says “the weekend must belong to national leagues” because they are the lifeblood of football.

Currently, only the Champions League final is played on a Saturday, and UEFA reiterated on Tuesday it hasn’t discussed moving other games from its flagship competitions to weekends.

But Seifert says legal action would be pursued if a “red line” was crossed and club competitions run by international competitions started to be played on regular dates of national leagues on weekends.

FIFA wants to expand the Club World Cup, but in a June slot when Europe’s major leagues are on their summer break.

Seifert became chairman of the World Leagues Forum in November, succeeding Richard Scudamore, who left his position as English Premier League chairman.

UEFA is under constant pressure from Europe’s top clubs to maximize the Champions League, and playing weekend fixtures has long been seen as attractive to broadcasters in Asia and the Americas.

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