UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin will not be re-elected for a record-breaking fourth term because he has confirmed he will step down in three years’ time. The announcement was made despite a UEFA vote to change its rule to allow the Slovenian to stand and prolong his tenure.
The vote approved the 56-year-old to run again and potentially remain in his role until 2031. No UEFA president has ever served for more than 10 years, and Ceferin is already due to surpass that mark when his current tenure ends in 2027.
The incumbent will now however leave European football’s governing body then after confirming his exit. England’s Football Association were among the small minority of domestic bodies to vote against Ceferin being permitted to be re-elected.
“I decided around six months that I am not planning to run in 2027,” Ceferin confirmed on Thursday. “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.
“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.”
It was previously prohibited for a UEFA president to stand for more than three terms. Yet 49 of the 55 UEFA associations voted in favour of a motion to change the rules so that he could remain in the position.
Officially, the motion was to ignore Ceferin’s partial first term in charge, which arose after Michel Platini and interim successor Angel Maria Villar were ousted. Platini stepped down in May 2016 after being banned by FIFA.
Mark Bullingham, chief executive of the FA, was among those six to oppose the change at the UEFA Congress in Paris on Thursday.
The FA said: “We requested and voted for the statute changes to be tabled separately, but this was not supported by a sufficient majority and we respect that.