The global footballers’ union FIFPRO on Monday said it would “vigorously defend” players of clubs launching the planned European Super League if they are threatened with bans from international competitions.
Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs earlier in the day announced the proposed launch of the breakaway tournament.
But UEFA has said that teams and players involved will be banned from their domestic leagues and other European competitions, and raised the possibility players could be prevented from featuring for their national teams.
“Players continue to be used as assets and leverage in these negotiations. This is unacceptable for FIFPRO, our 64 national player associations and the 60,000 players we represent,” FIFPRO said in a statement.
“We will vigorously oppose measures by either side that would impede the rights of players, such as exclusion from their national teams.”
World football’s governing body FIFA has said it “disapproves” of a “closed European breakaway league”, but has not mentioned the possibility of international bans since the clubs announced the Super League proposals.
“This decision leaves players and their unions with many concerns and questions about its impact not only on the fabric and cultural identity of football but also more practically on their careers,” FIFPRO added.
Six Premier League sides – Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham – have joined Spanish teams Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, as well as Italian trio Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan, as founding members of the Super League.