Zvonimir Boban, Chief of Football at the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), has announced his departure from the European soccer governing body in protest against the endorsement by UEFA President Aleksandar Ceferin for changes in statutes that would allow him to extend his term in office.
In an open letter published on a Croatian website, Boban expressed his regret and sadness, stating, “I’m sorry and I’m sad, but I’m leaving UEFA.”
Boban clarified that his decision was triggered by Ceferin’s support for a proposal to alter UEFA’s rules, scheduled for consideration at the next Congress on February 8 in Paris. This proposal would enable Ceferin to stand for re-election when his current four-year term concludes in 2027.
Current UEFA rules restrict the president and members of the Executive Committee from running for office more than three times or holding their posts for more than 12 years.
Boban pointed out the paradox, stating, “Paradoxically, it was Ceferin who proposed and launched the package of reforms in 2017 that were supposed to protect UEFA and European football,” Boban said.
“His departure from these values and changes in the main reforms are difficult to understand, especially in this delicate football time.
“If I were to accept such a difficult and wrong decision and turn my head, I would be going against the principles and general values in which I deeply believe.
“I am not playing any hero, and I know very well that many are of the same opinion perhaps naive, but certainly correct.”
Ceferin was re-elected as UEFA president unopposed at the governing body’s Ordinary Congress in Lisbon in April of the previous year.