UEFA council criticises Infantino’s competition plans


Lausanne (AFP) – UEFA and other football power brokers on Wednesday joined forces to say they had “serious reservations” over FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s plan to reformat the Club World Cup and create a Global Nations League. 

The Professional Football Strategic Council (PFSC) met in Lyon on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League final. In addition to the governing body of European football, it brought together the European Club Association (ECA), the recently renamed European Leagues (EPFL) and the players’ union (FifPro).

UEFA released a statement saying the PFSC “unanimously expressed serious reservations about the process surrounding the FIFA Club World Cup and Global Nations League proposals and in particular the hasty timing and lack of concrete information.”

They said there is “the need for a clearly defined procedure, which respect existing structures and decision-making bodies and which involves all key stakeholders.”

The 17-member PFSC is led by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and includes Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of Paris Saint-Germain, and Ed Woodward, vice-chairman of Manchester United, two clubs who attended a meeting at which Infantino presented his plans to Europe’s biggest clubs.

Infantino is pushing to revamp the Club World Cup, boosting it from seven clubs to 24 in a four-year format. At the moment it is played every year.

He also hopes to launch a biennial league tournament for nations, the Global Nations League.

Infantino says he has an offer of $25 billion over 12 years for the two competitions from a group of investors, which the Financial Times has identified as SoftBank from Japan and the governments of China and Saudi Arabia.

That money, he promises, will be redistributed to clubs and continental football federations.

But, according to the UEFA statement, “such proposals must be considered as part of a global reflection on the overall international match calendar and cannot be decided upon in isolation.”

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