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Veteran UEFA Soccer Executive Olsson To Step Down

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 file photo, President of the European Leagues Lars-Christer Olsson, speaks during the European Leagues General Assembly press conference in London. Veteran soccer official Lars-Christer Olsson announced Friday Oct. 9, 2020 that he is stepping down in March including as a member of UEFAs executive committee. Olsson is chairman of the 29-nation European Leagues group and has helped resist moves by top clubs to limit entry paths to the Champions League in 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 file photo, President of the European Leagues Lars-Christer Olsson, speaks during the European Leagues General Assembly press conference in London. Veteran soccer official Lars-Christer Olsson announced Friday Oct. 9, 2020 that he is stepping down in March including as a member of UEFAs executive committee. Olsson is chairman of the 29-nation European Leagues group and has helped resist moves by top clubs to limit entry paths to the Champions League in 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Veteran soccer executive LarsChrister Olsson will step down in March and relinquish his place as a member of the UEFA executive committee, the Swede said Friday.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Veteran soccer executive Lars-Christer Olsson will step down in March and relinquish his place as a member of the UEFA executive committee, the Swede said Friday.

Olsson helped modernize the Champions League from 2000-07 as a senior UEFA official and then its general secretary under then-president Lennart Johansson.

As chairman of the 29-nation European Leagues group, Olsson has helped resist moves led by top clubs to limit entry paths to the Champions League.

I do not think you should sit for too long in different positions, Olsson said in a statement, but it is good with rotation and new blood at regular intervals.

Olsson returned to international soccer politics in 2016 to lead the network of European leagues. Two years later, he joined the UEFA executive committee when a seat was allocated to the leagues.

Olssons mandate at UEFA expires in March, when he would be 71 and beyond the European soccer body’s age limit of 70 for election or re-election to the top committee.

In his final months in office, Olsson is due to take part in talks UEFA will re-open to examine possible changes for its club competitions. They would take effect in the 2024-25 season.

Olsson has argued for teams earning entry to the Champions League only by a high placing in a national league, or by winning a UEFA competition, and that places should remain open to mid- and lower-ranked leagues.

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