Uefa's Chief of Football Zvonimir Boban has quit in protest at a move to alter the rule book of European football’s governing body to enable its president to extend his tenure beyond mandated limits.
Boban, a former AC Milan midfielder and captain of Croatia, announced his decision in an open letter published by Croatian website Telesport, on Thursday and expressed his “deepest concern and total disapproval” to Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin over the planned statute changes. The proposed reforms would allow Čeferin to seek a further four-year term as president when his current one ends in 2027.
Boban - who joined Uefa in 2021 – said in his statement:
“It is with sorrow, and a heavy heart, I have no option but to leave Uefa.”
“Despite having expressed my deepest concern and total disapproval, the Uefa president does not consider there to be any legal issues with the proposed changes, let alone any moral or ethical ones, and he intends to move forward regardless in pursuit of his personal aspirations."
“Ironically, it was the Uefa president himself that proposed and launched a set of reforms in 2017 which were introduced to prevent such a possibility. These rules were designed to protect Uefa and European football from the ‘bad governance’ which for years had unfortunately been the modus operandi of what is often referred to as the ‘old system’ of football governance."
“The reforms were to football’s great credit, and that of the Uefa president. His shift away from these values is beyond comprehension.”
The new rules, which would also remove age limits for members of Uefa’s executive committee, will be voted on next month at a meeting in Paris. If approved by the 55 member federations, Uefa would follow FIFA in allowing its incumbent president to seek a further term in office beyond the current limit of three four-year terms.
Following Boban’s letter, UEFA also released a statement later confirming his departure.