Aleksandar Čeferin has hinted that some Champions League games could be played in the United States from 2026 onwards. The country will co-host the World Cup in that year, partnered by Canada and Mexico – and the UEFA president has now commented that the Champions League could make an appearance on the country’s crowded calendar too.
Speaking to the Men In Blazers podcast, Čeferin – who has been the president of European Football’s governing body since 2016 – spoke about the upcoming finals, which will be held in Istanbul, London and Munich. The Slovenian went as far as to say that “this year is Istanbul, 24 in London, 25 in Munich. And after that let’s see. It’s possible, it’s possible!”
Čeferin is aware of the criticism that will undoubtedly come with any announcement of this nature, adding that “fans will still think, in a way, these bastards in Switzerland – it’s all about money”. He was quick to point out that “we redistribute 97% of the money.”
Having spoken to a handful of fans and listened to their opinions, the general consensus is that the Champions League should remain in Europe. UEFA is the Union of European Football Associations, so why are they trying to appeal to an American market at the expense of the very fans that have been behind their success?
Let’s take a look at the Super Bowl – the biggest regular sporting event within the United States. Super Bowl LVII was held in February 2023, and even the cheapest tickets for that started at a whopping $6,600. When you factor in travel costs, that makes it wildly unaffordable for the majority of working-class supporters who are the bread and butter of European football. For context, the cheapest general sale tickets to the 2022 UEFA Champions League final were €70 – or €76.83 at the time of writing.
There’s no denying that football is rapidly growing in popularity in the United States, and the national team will host the 2024 Copa America tournament ahead of the aforementioned 2026 World Cup. The United States Soccer Federation are also preparing a joint bid with Mexico to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup.