European clubs say will boycott FIFA’s Club World Cup

Silvia Morton
March 16, 2019

The Club World Cup is now an annual seven-team tournament which attracts minimal interest in Europe - the centre of the football business.

Europe's top clubs say they will boycott FIFA's proposed new Club World Cup, leaving Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino's latest plans in serious doubt and risking a major split in the world game.

"We will work with FIFA to determine whether or not a viable operating model does exist and, importantly, whether it is in the best interests for football and for the tournament, and for Qatar as the host nation".

A vote on the plan to increase the tournament from its 32-team set-up will take place in Paris in June.

If you do it now, there will be more money and more participating teams.

The FIFA Council met in Miami on Friday and discussed the results of a feasibility study that looked at the possibility of expanding the tournament.

That would mean it starting nine days after a period of 2022 World Cup qualifiers and finishing just one day before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The president of Barcelona spoke out against the haste to introduce a 24-team Club World Cup in 2021 ahead of the FIFA Council deciding Friday whether to approve the pilot of the enlarged tournament.

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"Now the world will see a real Club World Cup where fans will see the best teams in the world compete to be crowned the real world champions", he said.

"We all know the situation in the region, but we are in a lucky position in football that we only have to care about football", Infantino said.

The ECA represents 232 European clubs, including all the leading teams who would be expected to feature in a Club World Cup.

The announcement comes in the face of considerable opposition from European clubs.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and non-Gulf state Egypt cut political, trade, and transport ties with Qatar in June, 2017.

Confirming the development, All India Football Federation General Secretary Kushal Das told PTI: "We are thankful to FIFA for giving the right to host the U-17 Women's World Cup".

An announcement on FIFA's website said, "The revamped FIFA Club World Cup will be played during the global match calendar slot that corresponded to the FIFA Confederations Cup". Two thirds of those taking part would play only two games, the victor only five.

He added that VAR will be used in the tournament, "the same as we did for the men's World Cup". Video assistant referees likely will include men helping advise all-female teams of referees and assistants.

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