FIFA’s plans for a revamped Club World Cup have been met with scorn by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who believes the players’ schedules are already busy enough.
Gianni Infantino, Ceferin’s counterpart at world football’s governing body, is reportedly keen on a 24-team event played every four years, involving the biggest clubs in an attempt to maximise revenue opportunities.
But Ceferin, who was elected UEFA chief in 2016, feels FIFA’s plans will only serve the top sides, with little thought given to the remainder.
“About the so-called Club World Cup. The players are at the limit. FIFA is behaving strangely here too,” he told Kicker.
“They are discussing with only a few European clubs. They only invite the clubs that FIFA thinks are the important ones. The ECA is the associations of clubs in Europe, not only seven clubs.
“Do you think only one club in Germany, two in Spain and two in England are important? FIFA should respect every single club.
“I cannot imagine that UEFA invites only seven associations or clubs to discuss things that affect the future of all of European football. We conduct our consultations with everyone.
“And of course the clubs are sceptical of the FIFA proposal. I know that at least three of the seven clubs that were invited do not agree with FIFA’s approach.”
Ceferin also criticised FIFA for its handling of a proposed Global Nations League – a notion initially floated by UEFA.
“We, at UEFA, had an idea about a possible Global Nations League. We first presented it to the FIFA president, then to national associations and to clubs,” Ceferin said.
“And all of a sudden FIFA comes and says they are ready to sell it, our idea, to a fund. Without any explanations! It is really a strange offer. FIFA just said that they’ve been offered a lot of money by some people.”
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