"I am pleased we are maintaining our excellent working relations," said UEFA President Michel Platini as he met European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in Brussels.
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UEFA President Michel Platini today met the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, in Brussels to discuss some of the major challenges facing European football. This is the third meeting between the two leaders, after previous discussions in 2007 and 2011.
Among the topics covered were UEFA EURO 2020, the third-party ownership of players, financial fair play, the fight against match-fixing and international transfers. The visit took place in a very positive atmosphere and helped to further strengthen the excellent relationship between the European Commission and UEFA.
The two Presidents once again highlighted the positive relations between UEFA and the European Union. Various measures taken by UEFA in order to improve good governance in European football with respect to the specificity of sport were mentioned, as was UEFA's decision to stage UEFA EURO 2020 in 13 countries around Europe.
"Sport – and football in particular – holds a very important place in the lives of the nations of Europe," said Mr Barroso after the meeting. "Many of our fellow citizens experience the reality of Europe through football matches between our countries. The cooperation between the European Commission and UEFA is very constructive – within our respective areas of expertise – for sport and for Europeans."
Mr Platini added: "I am pleased that we are maintaining our excellent working relations with the European institutions in general and the European Commission in particular, notably concerning the implementation of financial fair play in European football, the problems linked to the third-party ownership of players, and the organisation of a EURO final tournament in several European countries. UEFA and I personally are committed to pursuing this fruitful cooperation with the commission and to working on topics of common interest."
The UEFA President also took the opportunity to reiterate his main proposals regarding the fight against match-fixing – making sports fraud a criminal offence, the structured collaboration between public authorities and sports associations, and recognition of the ownership rights of these associations to the competitions they organise.
Following his talks with Mr Barroso, Mr Platini and UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino visited the headquarters of the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) in Brussels, where they met the association's president François De Keersmaecker, general secretary Steven Martens, and Philippe Collin, chairman of the URBSFA-KBVB sports department.