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Gianni Infantino calls emergency meeting for $25bn Club World Cup offer - report

April 24,2018 01:18

Gianni Infantino has called an emergency FIFA Council meeting to discuss a $25 billion offer to reinvent the Club World Cup, according to a report in the New York Times. The newspaper reported two weeks ago that FIFA president Infantino had brought up ...


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Real Madrid lift the Club World Cup. Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty ImagesGianni Infantino has called an emergency FIFA Council meeting to discuss a $25 billion offer to reinvent the Club World Cup, according to a report in the New York Times.
The newspaper reported two weeks ago that FIFA president Infantino had brought up an investment group's proposal at March's FIFA Council meeting in Colombia, but the governing body's leaders tabled the motion.
Under the plan as reported, the annual seven-team event would transform by 2021 into a quadrennial tournament with 24 clubs -- 12 from Europe, five from South America, and two each from the other confederations.
And in the letter calling for another meeting as soon as possible, Infantino reportedly wrote that he is ready to reveal many of the details about the proposal that he did not disclose last month.
FIFA confirmed that Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs and is holding "informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups."
The investment group -- which the Financial Times reported includes Japan-based SoftBank, backed by governments of Saudi Arabia and China -- would control three editions of the Club World Cup, including ticket sales, broadcast rights, sponsorships and host selection.
The European Club Association, which was not told of Friday's meeting, last month expressed its displeasure with any plan to expand the Club World Cup and asked for fewer games, while UEFA is opposed to any plan that would compete with its Champions League.
But the plan is likely to be attractive to other continental confederations as a larger Club World Cup would provide their clubs more opportunities to play against Europe's world-famous teams.
Expanding the event would also allow Infantino, who is up for re-election next year, to fulfil his campaign promise to quadruple financing for developing nations.

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