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Uefa open disciplinary proceedings against Celtic following pitch invasion by fan

A supporter made it onto the Parkhead pitch late in the first half. Credit: PA

Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic following the pitch invasion by a fan during the Champions League tie against Paris St Germain.

The supporter raced onto the Parkhead pitch late in the first half with the hosts 3-0 down and darted towards 18-year-old superstar Kylian Mbappe.

He aimed a fresh-air kick at the former Monaco striker but failed to make contact before being whisked away by stewards.

Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers has already expressed his frustration with Tuesday night's incident.

"The crowd reaction said it all. It is disappointing at any ground that a supporter gets on to the pitch," said the Cetic boss.

"I am sure the club will deal with that. It shouldn't be anything that we should see on a football field. The crowd in their reaction told you everything you need to know.''

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Arsenal boss Ivan Gazidis joins UEFA executive committee

Credit: PA

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has been appointed to UEFA's executive committee as one of two representatives from the European Club Association.

Gazidis, 52, will join new ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli on the ExCo, and becomes the second representative from the English game, alongside former Manchester United boss David Gill.

Juventus president Agnelli replaces Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the ECA's second ever leader.

The ECA is the successor organisation to the G-14 group of Europe's most powerful clubs and now represents the interests of 220 clubs from 53 countries.

In an ECA statement, Agnelli said: "My predecessor, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has set a great example and has set the bar of achievements at a very high level.

"I am looking forward, together with the executive board and the administration, to build on his significant results as we manage ECA in the coming years.

"It is a huge honour and a great responsibility the European clubs have entrusted me with. I am looking forward to working closely with all stakeholders within the game in order to protect, promote and develop club football at all levels across Europe."

As well as finding a new leader, the ECA also elected 11 board members and named its four representatives to UEFA's professional football strategy council.

The four representatives are Barcelona's Josep Maria Bartomeu, Ed Woodward of Manchester United, PSG's Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Celtic boss Peter Lawwell.

While these appointments are significant in terms of influence and prestige, perhaps the most interesting conversations at the ECA's 19th general congress in Geneva this week took place behind closed doors, as Bartomeu, Al-Khelaifi and others met to discuss their differences after a contentious transfer window.

The ECA statement said the leaders of Europe's biggest clubs met in "break-out sessions to discuss upcoming challenges and priorities in European club football".

Among the subjects discussed were the length of the transfer window, the future of UEFA's financial fair play rules and the next iteration of Europe's club competitions between 2021-24.

These break-out sessions followed opening addresses from FIFA president Gianni Infantino and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

"It was agreed that further discussions will be held on these matters to develop an ECA position following which it will be shared and discussed with the relevant stakeholders of the professional game," the ECA added.

FC Copenhagen charged over fireworks at Leicester City

Copenhagen fans at the King Power Stadium. Credit: PA

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against FC Copenhagen after the Danish club's fans set off fireworks during their 1-0 Champions League defeat at Leicester City.

European football's governing body has been cracking down on the use of fireworks, flares and smoke bombs by supporters, with Celtic, Liverpool and Manchester City among the clubs recently fined or warned.

A statement posted on UEFA's official website said FC Copenhagen had been charged for "the setting off of fireworks - article 16 (2) of the UEFA disciplinary regulations" on Tuesday night. UEFA will hear the case on November 17th.

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FA to back Van Praag in Uefa presidential race

The Football Association has announced its support for Michael van Praag in the race to replace Michel Platini as Uefa president at next week's extraordinary congress in Athens.

The 68-year-old Dutch football boss is up against the relatively unknown Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin, after Spain's Angel Maria Villar Llona quit the contest on Tuesday.

David Gill, FA vice-chairman and Uefa executive committee member, said English football's governing body had decided to back Van Praag after careful consideration of the candidates.

Michael van Praag has the FA's support. Credit: PA

While we note Angel Maria Villar Llona's withdrawal overnight and fully respect Aleksander Ceferin's credentials, we have agreed to support Michael van Praag.

He is someone we have come to know very well and worked closely with in recent years, particularly because of our shared commitment to securing Fifa reform.

As Uefa president, Mr Van Praag would be able to provide the strong and credible leadership European football requires at a crucial moment for the global game.

– David Gill

Slovenian FA boss a contender to replace Platini at Uefa

Platini will formally step down at an extraordinary general meeting in Athens in September. Credit: PA

Slovenian Football Association boss Aleksander Ceferin has emerged as a contender to replace Michel Platini as the next president of European football's governing body, Uefa.

Platini will formally step down at an extraordinary general meeting in Athens in September after the Frenchman failed to overturn his ban from all football activities at the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week.

That prompted speculation about who might replace him with the early favourites including acting general secretary Theodore Theodoridis from Greece, veteran Dutch FA boss Michael van Praag and Spanish football chief Angel Maria Villar.

But Press Association Sport has learned that 48-year-old Ceferin has already been asked by several FAs to put himself forward for what many expect to be a tight race.

It is understood that Ceferin wants to hear more details from Wednesday's meeting about the election calendar, format and likely rivals before committing to run.

A practising lawyer who has specialised in sport, Ceferin joined the board of Slovenian champions Olimpija Ljubljana in 2006 and became president of the Slovenian FA, NZS, in 2011.

Platini has football suspension reduced

Michel Platini has had two years taken off his ban. Credit: PA

Michel Platini's ban from football has been reduced from six to four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Platini, alongside ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter were originally suspended for eight years by world football's governing body over a two million Swiss francs payment, worth around £1.4m at current exchange rates, made by Blatter to Platini in 2011.

These bans were reduced in February to six years before the latest verdict on Monday.

The Frenchman's lawyer confirmed he would resign from his role as Uefa president in the coming days.

I take note of today's decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but I see it as a profound injustice.

This decision imposes upon me a suspension which will prevent me, coincidentally, to present myself at the next Fifa presidential election.

As agreed with the national associations, I resign from my position of president of Uefa in order to continue my fight before the Swiss courts to prove my probity in this matter. Life always has nice surprises in reserve, I am henceforth available to live.

– Michel Platini
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