UEFA Delegates Threaten to Walk Out of FIFA Meeting Over Expanded Club World Cup

By in Governance, Health & Fitness, People & Places

Sunday 28th October 2018    

Toby Yates – UCFB Sports Business & Broadcasting student – 2018

Since the successful World Cup in Russia, Europe has seen the introduction of the UEFA Nations League consisting of the European nations which are members of UEFA. The tournament has proven generally popular amongst governing bodies, teams and fans, although some fans have voiced their displeasure over the two international breaks coming so soon after the World Cup and the start of the domestic season.

Now FIFA have proposed the birth of two further competitions – a global Nations League modelled on the European version, and a revamped Club World Cup. The latter has been discussed in greater detail than the Nations League; with a meeting in Rwanda last Friday (26th October) postponed due to uncertainty towards the plans, in particular from UEFA. Representatives of the European governing body had threatened to stage a walk out at the meetings as a public display of disagreement.

The source of UEFA’s and President Aleksander Ceferin’s scepticism has risen from feelings of “emotional blackmail” by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, caused by a lack of consultation over the matter. Additionally, Ceferin was angered by the implications and lack of detail on the football calendar; ensuring the safety and health of the players is paramount.

Currently, the Club World Cup is staged every December consisting of seven teams from six confederations. However, earlier this year Infantino suggested expanding the crop of teams to 24 – including 12 European teams, to be held every four years.

Two formats were proposed: proposal one seeing the abolishment of the Confederations Cup and a eight nation competition in the June before every World Cup to be staged in its place. The second choice is the same as proposal one but with the option of an end of summer pre-season tournament between July and August, or in another time slot.

The combined revenue from the two new prospective tournaments is projected to total around $25bn (£17.9bn), with investment to be gathered from a Japanese consortium.

FIFA will spend the coming months deliberating over the feedback connected with the proposals, and will present their findings at a meeting in Miami in March 2019.