Euro leagues oppose FIFA competition plans

May 05, 2018
FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP):

Europe's top leagues want colleagues on a UEFA panel to unite this month and oppose FIFA's US$25 billion (J$3 trillion) plan for new competitions.

FIFA has been acting with "a clear lack of consultation and transparency," Lars-Christer Olsson, the CEO of the European Leagues, said on Thursday after a board meeting of his 32-member group.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has pushed since March for approval within weeks from his ruling committee for a quadrennial 24-team Club World Cup and a biennial Nations League for all national teams. The 12-year deal with a Japanese-led, Saudi Arabian-backed consortium would start in 2021.

Olsson's latest barb at FIFA follows his criticism last month of its "expansion drive" after a 48-team World Cup in 2022 was also suggested.

FIFA's ideas require taking weekend dates from European leagues for its own competitions to use.

Olsson also said that FIFA's proposed Club World Cup prize money would "increase the financial and sporting gap" between clubs playing in his member's leagues. Each edition would be worth at least US$3 billion (about J$373 billion), FIFA has said, with more than US$2 billion (J$249 billion) shared among the 24 clubs, including 12 from Europe.

That would "further destroy competitive balance in domestic competitions," the Swedish official said.

On May 16, UEFA's strategy council including leaders of European national federations, clubs, leagues and players' union FIFPro will meet in Lyon, France, during the FIFA consultation period.

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