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There will be a new president at UEFA beyond 2027 after Aleksander Ceferin decided not to seek a further term as head of European football’s governing body.
Against a controversial backdrop, UEFA members approved statute changes which would have given Ceferin the opportunity to remain as UEFA president until 2031 for what would be an unprecedented fourth term.
However, shortly after getting the official green light to remain in power, Ceferin revealed that he intends to leave his post in three years’ time.
‘I decided six months ago that I would not run any more,’ the 56-year-old Slovenian said at a press conference after the Congress.
‘The reason is that after some time every organisation needs fresh blood, but mainly because I was away from my family for seven years now.
Alexander Ceferin will not stand as UEFA president beyond his current term ending in 2027
Ceferin cited the long absences away from his family as a reason for his decision to walk away
The Slovenian pictured with his wife Barbara (right) and daughter Petra (left) in August 2019
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‘I intentionally didn’t want to disclose my thoughts before, because firstly, I wanted to see the real face of some people and I saw it.
‘I have a beautiful life in football, I have a beautiful life outside of football as well.’
The announcement comes shortly after the Football Association stood alone in showing the red card to changes in UEFA’s rules which allowed Ceferin the option of standing for a further four-year term as president from 2027.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham was the sole national federation delegate to hold up a red card rejecting the amendments at the UEFA Congress in Paris, but the motion passed with 49 of the 55 associations holding up a green card in support.
The amendment meant Ceferin’s partial first term, which began in September 2016, would not count towards the three-term limit, allowing him the possibility of a further term between 2027 and 2031.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham held up a red card opposing changes at UEFA at Congress
Despite Bullingham and the FA’s protestations, 49 out of 55 nations voted in favour of change
The FA, along with Norway and Iceland, had sought to break up the bundle of rule amendments, because it wholeheartedly supports most of the measures proposed including an increase in minimum female representation on the UEFA executive committee from one to two.
However, a decision was taken to vote for the amendments as a package, forcing the FA to vote against the term limit amendment as a matter of principle, rather than a vote against Ceferin himself.