European soccer’s governing body UEFA is reportedly looking to change its rules so that its president Aleksander Ceferin can serve longer than the 12-year limit that he introduced.

Draft proposals seen by the Financial Times would amend the rules around term limits so that Ceferin, who has been in power since 2016, can stand for another four-year term in 2027 after his current term ends. Ceferin, 56, won a third term in April 2023 after running unopposed.

Ceferin’s reforms as president include the introduction of term limits, at the time saying they were “essential for the strengthening of UEFA”.

Speaking to the Politico publication in 2021, he said: “It’s wrong to stay too long … you need fresh blood, you need people with ideas. After three mandates, you have to do something else.”

The proposed term limit changes have already been approved by UEFA’s governance committee and its executive committee. To be implemented, however, the changes must be voted on by the UEFA Congress on February 8, 2024, requiring a two-thirds majority from the organization’s 55 members.

Reports suggest that former Manchester United chief executive and member of UEFA’s executive committee David Gill is leading the opposition to any change to the term limits, calling the proposed changes undemocratic.

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In addition to the term limit changes, UEFA has also proposed removing its 70-year age limit for executive committee members, which would allow some current members to stay in their positions for longer.

The move to allow longer tenures follows FIFA president Gianni Infantino being permitted to run for president again in 2027 after the FIFA Council, which he chairs, decided that his first three years in charge of the organization did not count towards term limits.

Infantino, like Ceferin, entered his position in 2016 via the corruption scandal that had forced out numerous top executives before their terms had expired, allowing for Infantino and Ceferin to argue that their first terms where they had taken over from others mid-term did not count towards the term limits.

Responding to the report, Uefa said: "The legal committee proposed a number of changes to the statutes which clarify some existing provisions to ensure that none are applicable retroactively – in line with a basic legal principle.

"Both the governance committee and the executive committee approved the changes which will now be considered by congress in February."