FIFA puts $25billion tournament plans on hold
A possible schism between FIFA and UEFA has been avoided after FIFA opted to set up a taskforce to consider president Gianni Infantino’s plans for expansion of the Club World Cup and creation of a global nations league.
The new competitions issue had raised more angst in Europe than in the rest of the world put together. European federation UEFA was concerned that an expanded annual Club World Cup – with revenues of $25billion from likely Saudi investors – would drain its Champions League of broadcast and sponsor income, while the continent’s leagues and players’ union FIFPro feared greater demands on players.
The controversial plan was effectively kicked into the long grass by the compromise solution taken by the FIFA Council, meeting in Kigali. The issue has been complicated by the prospect of monies emanating from a Saudi business or a sovereign fund.
A taskforce headed by Infantino and comprising the six confederation presidents will come up with tournament options to set before council in March.
Infantino said: “We have taken a decision to
overhaul the Club World Cup and discuss a world nations league, so we have set up a taskforce which will operate under the direction of the bureau of the FIFA Council and we will then present the proposals at the next council meeting, in Miami, on March 14 and 15.
“Once we have finalised the proposals then we will see what commercial impact these competitions will have.
“But before, [we need to know] whether we play the Club World Cup every four years or every year with eight or 16 or 24 or 32 teams, whether we play a global nations league with matches between teams from different confederations, and whether it takes place over four or six or eight matchdays.”
Final...Real Madrid (in white) and Gremio at last year’s Club World Cup
Decisions... Gianni Infantino