UEFA official Zvonimir Boban resigned in protest at extending the president's term

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A top UEFA official has helped its president extend his tenure beyond mandatory limits by protesting a move to overhaul European football's governing body's rulebook.

Svonimir Boban, UEFA's head of football from 2021, said in a statement that he had expressed his „deep concern and absolute disapproval” to UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin over the planned rule changes, first reported by the Financial Times last month.

The proposed reforms would allow Ceferin to serve another four-year term as president, ending in 2027. Čeferin, a Slovenian lawyer, was first elected president of Uefa in 2016 in the wake of a corruption scandal that rocked FIFA. Football governing body. Term limits were brought in as part of a regime change after he took office.

Despite his objections, Boban said he saw no problem with Cipher's proposals and wanted to „move forward in pursuit of personal ambitions.” As a result, Boban, a former Croatian international footballer, said, „With sadness and a heavy heart, I have no choice but to leave UEFA”.

„These rules are designed to protect Uefa and European football from 'bad governance', which unfortunately has become the 'modus operandi' often referred to as the 'old system' of football governance,” he said. „The reforms are a great credit to football, and the UEFA president. His departure from these values ​​is incomprehensible.

Uefa confirmed Boban's departure in a statement, saying he had left „by mutual agreement”: „Uefa expresses its gratitude to Mr Boban for his dedicated service and wishes him well in his future career endeavours.”

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The new rules, which also remove age limits for members of UEFA's executive committee, will be voted on at a meeting in Paris next month. If approved by the 55 member confederations, Uefa would follow FIFA in allowing its current president to remain in office beyond the current limit of three to four years. Some members of the International Olympic Committee have recently called for Thomas Bach to remain in office beyond 2025, when his presidency ends.

Boban is the first senior figure to go public against UEFA's plans, but others within the body's top leadership have privately expressed their displeasure, according to people familiar with the matter.

Uefa's former head of governance Alex Phillips said Boban's intervention would „definitely” have an impact on the process of approving changes, in part because of his departure. „The wording of his statement is very damaging to Ceferin”, he said.

The upheaval comes a month after Europe's top court ruled that UEFA and FIFA's response to a bid to launch a European Super League, a rival to UEFA's flagship club competition, the Champions League, was illegal.

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