What happened in football today: April 16, 2021

UEFA to decide on Champions League reform plans next week

A new format for the Champions League is set to be approved at a UEFA executive meeting on April 19, paving the way for the adoption of the “Swiss model” tournament structure.

Earlier on Friday, the European Club Association (ECA), the organization that represents major European clubs, held a board meeting to decide whether to accept UEFA’s proposal to extend the tournament.

… while groups of supporters of Europe’s top clubs oppose the plans

Fan groups across Europe have written an open letter to Andrea Agnelli, the ECA chairman, opposing the Champions League expansion plans.

The strongly worded letter warned that a change to the existing format “would pose a serious threat to the entire game”.

The letter was sent by supporters of 13 of the 28 clubs represented on the ECA board, including Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Arsenal.

Arsenal and Rangers will play a commemorative friendly

Arsenal travel to Ibrox Stadium to take on Rangers in a pre-season friendly on July 17, as part of the Scottish champions’ 150th birthday celebrations.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he “can’t wait to get back to Glasgow and feel the incredible atmosphere of Ibrox from the touchline”.

Boothroyd quits England Under-21 role

Aidy Boothroyd has stepped down as England Under-21 head coach with immediate effect after five years in charge.

Boothroyd’s contract was due to expire this summer but he decided to quit after England’s disappointing exit from the European Championship.

England lost two of their three matches last month and lost in the group stages of the tournament.

Mandzukic donates his March salary to the club’s charity

AC Milan’s Mario Mandzukic has donated his March salary to charity as he has been out injured for the whole month.

Milan president Paolo Scaroni said the money would go to Fondazione Milan, the club’s charity which raises money for children.

Touré apologizes for accusing Guardiola ‘of having problems with Africans’

Yaya Toure has written to Pep Guardiola to apologize for a 2018 interview with France Football magazine in which he accused the Manchester City manager of having a problem with black and African players.

Touré, who left City in May 2018 after eight seasons at the club, said Athleticism he now regrets those comments and has written to Guardiola apologizing, but has yet to receive a response.

In an extensive interview, Toure also spoke about his legacy at Manchester City, how he almost moved to Chelsea and his new role as assistant coach at Olimpik Donetsk. To read the full interview, go further below.

(Photo: Marcio Machado/Getty Images, Visionhaus, Victoria Haydn/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

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