The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has pushed its talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has pushed its talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has sought an urgent meeting in the next week with leaders of the six continental governing bodies, following his hosting of invited officials from some of Europe’s top clubs. The development comes at a time when the move is being strongly opposed by European Club Association. FIFA had proposed a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.
The move, of course, was not welcomed by UEFA, which has also proposed a Global Nations League to develop from its European version which kicks off in September. However, a similar worldwide project is tied into the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a Japanese-led consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
“Informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups,” FIFA said while confirming that it has started talks over the tournament. Infantino is set to meet ‘in the near future’ with the presidents and general secretaries of the six continental confederations, FIFA said.
This will include UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who has publicly doubted that a proposed 24-team Club World Cup could start in 2021.
The current Club World Cup is a seven-team event which is held annually in December for continental champions and the host nation’s league winner. However, the tournament has failed to gain popularity and in 2017, had earned just $37 million revenue for FIFA.
The Saudi-backed investors have guaranteed at least $3 billion for each edition, which would replace in soccer’s calendar the mostly unloved Confederations Cup that functions as a warmup event for World Cup host nations.
If the proposal is accepted, the Club World Cup would be played in June or July every four years and have 12 European teams, including the Champions League finalists and Europa League winners from the previous four seasons.
If a club qualified on merit multiple times, entries would be allocated according to a UEFA ranking system, typically led by storied and successful clubs.