The declaration, signed by 25 EU member states other than Spain, is not binding.

While the statement does not explicitly mention the Super League, it "calls on sports governing bodies to organize sports competitions in accordance with the principles of openness, equal opportunities, sporting merit, annual performance in domestic competitions and the link between all European competitions".

Spain's Supreme Council of Sport saw the statement as a criticism of the Super League, which is backed by Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The council said on Thursday that Madrid did not want to take an official position on the Super League until the Spanish commercial court had ruled on the case brought by the alternative league's supporters against UEFA.

Instead, Spain said it would propose a formal meeting of EU sports ministers to discuss the Super League.

Initial plans for the Super League were unveiled in 2021 and were backed by some of Europe's most established clubs. The proposed 20-team elite tournament would protect the top 15 clubs from relegation and would effectively replace the Champions League, Europe's elite club competition run by UEFA through national football associations.

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These plans began to crumble under pressure from fans, the British government and Europe's national leagues, including La Liga, the Spanish premier football league, which strongly opposed the Super League.

Only Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, the brainchildren of the project, continued their support for the Super League.

The teams took their case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which ruled that UEFA and FIFA had acted contrary to EU competition law by blocking alternative competition plans. The Super League has since drawn up an amended plan to include relegation and promotion.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been supportive of traditional tournaments since the Super League's court victory.