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Top Facts About Aleksander Čeferin, President of UEFA

Mon 03 May 2021 | 4:30

Aleksander Čeferin is a lawyer and football executive. He is the current president of football associations of Europe. Before managing the continental organization, he was the administrator of the Football Association of Slovenia. Keep reading to find out more facts about Aleksander Čeferin.

Since its foundation in 1954, UEFA runs almost all of the national and club competitions around Europe. It was formed out of the alliance of Italian, French, and Belgian associations. The organization is in charge of running competitions like the Champions League and European Championship, which are the most popular football competitions besides the Word Cup.

UEFA Congress consists of 55 member associations and they have annual meetings. Members of Congress vote for the election of an Executive Committee and UEFA president. The Executive Committee is the supreme head of UEFA. Next to the president of FIFA, Aleksander Čeferin is now the second most powerful man in football.

He is the first elected president of UEFA after Michel Platini's suspension. After a successful four-year period as UEFA president, Čeferin was reelected in 2019, February for another round.

The followings are some facts about Aleksander Čeferin, president of UEFA:

Aleksander Čeferin had a hard job to get out from under his father's shadow. His father Dr. Peter Čeferin is one of the most notable lawyers in whole Europe.

Aleksander Čeferin's Early Life

Aleksander Čeferin's birthday is October 13, 1967. He was born in Ljubljana, in former Yugoslavia. The city is now the capital of Slovenia.

Aleksander Čeferin

's parents

are Ana and Peter Čeferin. He had an older brother named Rok Čeferin. Two years later, her sister, Petra Čeferin was born.

One of the

facts about Aleksander Čeferin

is that his father was a lawyer, just like his grandfather. The grandfather, Emil Čeferin was also a professor at the University of Ljubljana. Aleksander's father describes him as a strong and stubborn kid. He and his brother had a course of musical lessons at home, but they were not interested. They decided to wear the musical class down and it was successful.

About

Aleksander Čeferin’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he went to a school that her mother was in charge of. He was a trouble maker at the time. As a youngster, Čeferin was a fan of football. He played with other kids and he was a fan of Hajduk Split. Hajduk Split in the 1970s and 1980s had a golden generation and was one of the most successful clubs in Yugoslavia.

In 1991, he went to Ljubljana University to study law as a family tradition. His homeland was in a critical situation at the time. They declared independence from Yugoslavia by the law, but the Yugoslavian army responded with a ten-day war. In 1993, his father, with the help of two brothers, founded a company named Law Firm Čeferin. Aleksander found representing the sports clubs and athletic clients interesting. It was the sparkle of his career.

Aleksander Čeferin Personal Life

Aleksander Čeferin married Barbara and they have three children. Barbara and Aleksander met each other at a mutual friend’s wedding and started dating.

Aleksander Čeferin's wife

 is also from Slovenia and she has 53 years of age. Barbara Čeferin is a professional photographer and has her own gallery. Her work has been featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova. Her reportage photographs of the war for independent Slovenia were published in the book Ten Days of War for Slovenia (1991). Also, she is a faculty member of Art at the same university that Aleksander got his degree, Ljubljana.

Aleksander Čeferin’s children

are Nina, who was born in 1993, Neza and Anait, who were born in 2002 and 2005, respectively.  

Aleksander Čeferin's Career

One of the

facts about Aleksander Čeferin

, is that his first top sports executive job was in KMN Svea Lensa Litija. FC Litija is a famous futsal club in Slovenia. Čeferin joined them in 2005 while they were dominating champions of the Slovenian Futsal League. He got into the executive board of FC Ljubljana. FC Ljubljana was originally NK Ljubljana before it dissolved.

Čeferin got in during the economic crisis of the club. The club stood up as long as Čeferin was in charge until 2011. At the same time, he got into another club's executive board. NK Olimpija Ljubljana was founded in 2005 and it's one of the top flight clubs in Slovenia. Between 2006 to 2011 Čeferin served Olimpija Ljubljana before running for the Football Association of Slovenia presidency.

Aleksander Čeferin in UEFA

In 2011, Čeferin was elected as the president of the Football Association of Slovenia. This meant that he became one of the 55 members of the UEFA Congress. Čeferin was selected as a member of the UEFA Legal Committee. He was the second vice-chairman of the Committee in a quadrennial period between 2011 to 2015. One of the reasons for Čeferin's success in UEFA is that he knows English and Italian, besides Slovenian and Croatian.

On September 14, 2016, at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens, Aleksander Čeferin finally got rid of relative obscurity for good. He was elected as the seventh President of UEFA and became a member of the FIFA Council. Čeferin is one of the vice-presidents of FIFA, alongside other confederation presidents. They are the first generation of football executives after the big scandal of FIFA in 2015. Čeferin's campaign was about the necessary governance reforming of UEFA.

His proposal was approved by UEFA Congress in 2017. One of the most important changes was a limit on how long the UEFA president and members of the executive committee can hold office. They can serve the office in a maximum of three quadrennial periods. The other change is named the active office. According to this law, only those who hold an active office with their country's football association are allowed to enter the Executive Committee.

The third big change was transparency in the procedure for the Champions League and Europa League's final venues. Čeferin added new members to the UEFA's Executive Committee to strengthen the body of the committee. New members include two members from the European Club Association (ECA) and a representative from the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL).

One of Čeferin's campaign claims was not having any big favor for elite clubs against smaller ones. He is an ultimate underdog supporter. It is one of the biggest conflicts for Čeferin because, at the same time, Andrea Agnelli was the president of the European Club Association. One of Andrea Agnelli's achievements on the board of ECA was reforming the regulation terms of Champions League qualified clubs.

In the current format, four teams from the top four European leagues—

Premier League

,

La Liga

,

Serie A

, and

Bundesliga

go directly to the Champions League group stage. This means that half of the participants in the Champions League are from these four leagues. Aleksander Čeferin managed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with ECA Chairman Andrea.

This agreement was the calm before the storm.This happened the day before Čeferin's reelection, on February 7, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2019 and 2020 had an extraordinary condition, especially for football. Supporters were banned and matches were postponed one after another. But, surprisingly, the pandemic wasn't the biggest trouble for Čeferin.

European Super League

In 1998, fourteen European top clubs founded an organization to represent the best football clubs. Founding clubs were

Real Madrid

,

Barcelona

,

Manchester United

,

Liverpool

,

Inter Milan

,

Juventus

,

Milan

,

Bayern

,

Dortmund

,

Marseille

,

Paris Saint Germain

,

Ajax

,

PSV Eindhoven

, and

Porto

. These fourteen clubs had won 41 European Cup and Champions League out of 51.

Arsenal

,

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

,

Lyon

, and

Valencia

were later invited to the organization. The goal of the organization was to defend the clubs' side against bigger organizations like UEFA and FIFA.

One of their first demands was that FIFA and UEFA have to pay clubs compensating when they let their players go into International competitions. Many of these clubs compete for titles every season and they suffer from injuries during the international games. FIFA chief Sepp Blatter، and UEFA president Michel Platini refused to negotiate with the G-14 and didn't like this kind of organization at all. Remember, these two executives were in the middle of the corruption of football. The G-14 was replaced with ECA, with more than 100 clubs as members. Founding members of ECA were 16 clubs that nine of them were from the G-14.

Unlike G-14, UEFA negotiates with the ECA, and Čeferin offered them UEFA Executive Committee membership. In the late 90s, there was an idea of forming a high end competition between the best European clubs, separate from domestic and UEFA leagues. In 2009 Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger predicted that a super league may establish in the future. Perez started his attempts from that year by criticizing the Champions League.

"We have to agree on a new European Super League which guarantees that the best always play the best – something that does not happen in the Champions League," Perez stated. This demand peaked in 2016 that forced UEFA to increase the number of top league teams in the Champions League.

In 2018, Football Leaks unveiled of secret talks about forming a super league. In following year In April 2021, after years of dodging the bullets by UEFA, the European Super League was established by twelve clubs.

Founding clubs were Real Madrid, Barcelona,

Atletico Madrid

, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham. It was the most critical situation for UEFA since its existence. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many big clubs suffer financially. Real Madrid and Barcelona have heavy debts and it seems there is no help from UEFA for them. The situation for almost all the big names is the same. This led to the official announcement of the Super League on April 18, 2021, right before the announcement of the new Champions League format by the UEFA Executive Committee.

The leader of the Super League is, of course, Florentino Perez, but his right hand is Andrea Agnelli. With the announcement of Super League, Agnelli resigned from his positions as ECA chairman and UEFA Executive Committee to become the vice-president of Super League. Joel Glazer, the co-chairman of Manchester United, John Henry, the owner of Liverpool, and Stan Kroenke, the owner of Arsenal, were other leaders.

Čeferin's response to Super League was bold and harsh. He warned the 12 teams would be banned from all UEFA competitions, including the national fixtures. “I cannot stress more strongly at the moment that UEFA and the football world stand together alongside this disgraceful, self-serving project from a select few clubs in Europe fueled by greed above all else,” Čeferin said.

Čeferin described Angelli as a traitor “[Agnelli is] probably the biggest disappointment of all,”. Čeferin added.“I don’t want to be too personal, but I have never seen a person who lied so many times as persistently as he did”. Čeferin also called Ed Woodward, Manchester United's executive, a liar “This idea is a spit in the face of all football lovers and our society as well. We must not let them take [football] away from us. I have seen many things in my life. I was a criminal lawyer for 24 years. I’ve seen many people. I’ve never seen anyone like that”.

Andrea Agnelli and Florentino Perez are warning that football may lose its popularity among the youngsters. They claim that video games are more attractive for them more than the big majority of football games. Čeferin called Perez "president of nothing" in response. Čeferin, at last, with the help of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, managed to get the six English founders of Super League to withdraw from the competition. The involvement of a government force in football is clearly in the paradox of UEFA and football's non-political spirit.

After the "big six" exit from Super League, it is permanently closed, but Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, and Milan are still officially on the board. Čeferin tried to hit Barcelona on the soft spot by blaming the previous president, Bartomeu, for the situation, but Laporta supported the idea, too. Čeferin, in a series of announcements and interviews, threatened everything and everyone around the Super League idea.

Many football players and managers criticized the Super League for being a closed tournament. With concerns of Perez and Agnelli and other football executives, the economy may force UEFA and FIFA to make more changes, even if there was no Super League proposal.

Champions League New Format

The problems these clubs have with the current procedure of UEFA are having many non-competitive international and club games in the schedule. The main problem is that they believe there is a great financial potential for European football to have big economic resources and sponsors. In 2018, UEFA introduced an international competition called UEFA Nations League. The idea of the Nations League was to turn boring friendly matches into a more competitive competition. 

Nations League has been criticized because some believe that it's just for economic purposes and support lower rank teams. In 2021 UEFA under Čeferin introduced another club competition, in addition to Champions League and Europa League. UEFA Europa Conference League is going to be the third tier of European club competitions.

In past the years, many football managers and pundits, and other experts were concerned about having too many matches on the annual football calendar. They believe that it is harmful to the players and it is destroying the spirit of the sport. Despite all of these new fixtures, Čeferin changed the Champions League format, too. Four teams are added to the 32 teams of the Champions League and instead of eight groups of four, they are all on the same table. In the current format, each team plays six matches before the round of sixteen, but in the new format, each team plays with 10 different teams.

Resume Validation

In 2016, Carlos Gunnera on the 

cargun.meduim

 website, blamed Čeferin for using uncertain data in his resume. Gunnera believes that Čeferin has exaggerated his serving times in Slovenian football. He has traced the official websites of the clubs Čeferin associated with and there is a lack of data about Čeferin in them, even on the Olimpija Ljubljana website. Gunnera believes that almost all of the football activities of Čeferin's resume before administration in the Football Association of Slovenia are "completely exaggerated, manipulated, faked and forged." The idea is too big to be true, but an experienced criminal lawyer knows the shortcuts of the law.

Some Quick Facts About Aleksander Čeferin

As mentioned before, Čeferin is fluent in four languages, including Slovenian, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, and English. He supported Hajduk Split. Čeferin is a third-dan Shotokan Karate black belt. He also is a motorsport enthusiast and has crossed the Sahara desert five times, four by car and once by motorcycle. 

A

fact about Aleksander Čeferin

is that he is a dog-lover and he has bought three for each of his daughters: Nina, Neza, and Anait. When he was young, in 1986, Aleksander served in the Yugoslav People’s Army and also he was a Slovenian soldier in the Slovenian War of Independence in 1991.

Čeferin has been involved in charity works and became the UEFA Foundation for Children’s manager in 2017. In 2016, Čeferin was voted sports personality of the year by the Slovenian sports newspaper Ekipa SN. Also in January 2019, he was included in the list of most influential people in the sports industry. The same year, he was selected as one of the people of the year by the World Soccer Magazine. 

In 2021, as the European Super League proposal published, he threatened the participating members with potential sanctions and called them snakes. The “ČeferinOut” hashtag was trending on Twitter worldwide after his threats.  

Aleksander Čeferin Body Measurements

About

Aleksander Čeferin body measurement

, it should be mentioned that there is no information on his body measurements, but he stands five Feet, eight Inches, or 1.73m tall. 

Aleksander Čeferin Social Media

Aleksander Čeferin's social media 

activity is limited to UEFA's official pages. He doesn't have personal Instagram or Twitter account or he is keeping it a secret.

Aleksander Čeferin Net Worth and Salary

Speaking about

Aleksander Čeferin’s Net worth and salary

, it should be mentioned that, according to USA Today, he was paid $1.64 million as his salary during his first term. This was published in 2018. According to some reports, he earned €2.19 million in 2019-20, which was a €450,000 increase from its previous year. This is while the association he's been trusted to lead has suffered a 21% revenue fall in the meantime.

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