Written by Reuters
16 Mar, 2019 | 3:04 pm
Colombo (News 1st): FIFA will go ahead with a new 24-team Club World Cup starting in 2021, the ruling body’s President Gianni Infantino said on Friday (March 15), setting the global body in conflict with Europe’s top clubs.
Infantino, speaking at a news conference in Miami, said FIFA had made the decision at its council meeting on Friday.
The tournament would be held instead of the Confederations Cup in June 2021. No host nation has been decided yet, Infantino said.
The competition, however, immediately faced a boycott from Europe’s leading clubs, which include the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United.
The European Clubs Association (ECA), which represents 232 European clubs, including all the leading teams, wrote a letter asking Infantino not make a decision now and saying they would not take part in the 2021 tournament.
Multiple sources told Reuters that representatives of UEFA, European football’s governing body, had voted against the plan.
Infantino said he believed a 48-team World Cup in 2022 in Qatar is “feasible”, adding that FIFA would continue to study the options.
No decision will be made on expanding that tournament, with possible additional host nations, until June, Infantino said.
The FIFA Council also decided to use VAR video review technology at June’s Women’s World Cup in France.
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