The sporting body’s chairman was named as one of the most influential figures in international sport as part of SportsPro’s (SP) prestigious ‘Ten Influencers 2022’ list.
European Club Association (ECA) Chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi announced that the sporting body will provide members with a donation of more than more than one million dollars to support the people of Ukraine.
This came during the 27th General Assembly of the ECA, which took place in Vienna on Tuesday.
The event was attended by the sporting body’s member clubs including Manchester United FC (ENG), Chelsea FC (ENG), Real Madrid CF (ESP), FC Barcelona (ESP) along with a number of others.
The General Assembly took place as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. During his opening address, Al-Khelaifi, ECA chairman, took the time to mention the ongoing war whilst noting the importance use of football as a “positive social force.”
“We are living through troubling times. We have all grieved to see the violent attacks on the Ukrainian people, and we call for peace,” said Al-Khelaifi.
The Qatari sports official said that he has been in talks with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to discover ways the ECA can support Ukraine and refugees displaced by the war.
“Together, in a small way, we can help lift the spirit of Europeans and fans all over the world during these times of terrible conflict, please remember this is a responsibility we have,” said Al-Khelaifi.
AL-Khelaifi added that ensuring financial stability in European football remains as the ECA’s top priority.
Officials attending the assembly included Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Aleksander Čeferin, European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC).
Bach has commended Qatar’s Al-Khelaifi role as a reliable partner in the industry.
“I would like to thank the ECA, under the great leadership of Nasser Al-Khelaifi, for being such a reliable partner and I wish you fruitful discussions and a successful general assembly,” said Bach.
In April last year, Al-Khelaifi was re-elected as the ECA’s representative until 2024.
The prominent Qatari figure, also the chairman of beIN Media Group and President of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), has been named as one of the most influential figures in international sport as part of SportsPro’s (SP) prestigious ‘Ten Influencers 2022’ list.
Al-Khelaifi was praised for his stance against joining the controversial ‘Super League’ last year, which had the potential to drastically reshape the European football’s landscape.
“That job, coupled with his position on the UEFA executive committee, will no doubt give Al-Khelaifi a significant say in the shape of European soccer moving forward, a task likely to involve protecting PSG’s interests from those of the remaining rebel super league clubs,” said SP.
Al-Khelaifi is also the president of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), the Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF), the Qatar Squash Foundation (QSF), and vice president of the Asian Tennis Federation for West Asia (ATF).