UEFA’s Chief of Football Zvonimir Boban has said he was leaving European soccer’s governing body in protest against its president Aleksandar Ceferin’s move to support changes in statutes that would allow him to extend his term in office.

Boban, a former AC Milan midfielder and captain of Croatia, announced his decision in an open letter published by Croatian website Telesport.

“I’m sorry and I’m sad, but I’m leaving UEFA,” Boban said in the letter.

Boban added that the reason for his departure was Ceferin’s support for a proposal to change UEFA’s rules at its next Congress on Feb. 8 in Paris that would allow him to stand for re-election when his current four-year term ends in 2027.

UEFA’s current rules prevent the president and members of the Executive Committee from running for office more than three times, or staying in their posts for more than 12 years.

“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 UEFA president unopposed at the governing body’s Ordinary Congress in Lisbon in April last year. REUTERS

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