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UEFA President meets key EU commissioners

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A working lunch involving UEFA President Michel Platini and key commissioners at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels helped to reinforce fruitful UEFA-EU relations.

The European Commission building in Brussels
The European Commission building in Brussels ©AFP

UEFA President Michel Platini has met with Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, and Joaquín Almunia, vice-president of the commission and commissioner for competition. Mr Platini had been invited to a working lunch at the commission's HQ in Brussels yesterday, which proved another very positive step in the relations between UEFA and the European Commission.

This was the second time the parties have met, which meant that discussions on issues of common interest were already advanced. A range of topics was brought up but in particular two topical issues, UEFA's Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and legal certainty for sport.

The UEFA President said: "I very much appreciate Ms Reding and Mr Almunia's support of UEFA's work to address the biggest challenges European football is currently facing. They take our concerns seriously and I promise UEFA will work tirelessly together with the EU to find feasible solutions to these issues."

The parties talked about the current financial crisis and Mr Platini observed that European sport was not immune to the problems. He outlined the main points of UEFA's financial fair play regulations as legitimate, opportune and proportional measures which were designed to create more stability in football finances.

UEFA President and commissioners Reding and Almunía have agreed to work together in order to ensure that financial fair play is a success. Mr Platini requested the political support of the European Commission for the next crucial stage in the process, the implementation of the regulations, and offered to personally keep the commission informed of developments in this respect.

Another key area covered was the settling of disputes in sport. The UEFA President explained the importance of sports arbitration bodies being recognised as the most appropriate and efficient way of resolving sport disputes. This also guarantees a uniform and efficient means of dispute resolution, which is essential to safeguard the proper functioning of sporting competitions.

All European Union (EU) institutions have already shown support for UEFA's fight against match-fixing. The European Parliament approved a resolution on online gambling in November and the European Commission adopted a green paper on online gambling in the internal market earlier this year. Combating match-fixing was also included in the Council of Ministers' conclusions last month.

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