FIFA Mulling Changes to Non-World Cup Competitions

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(WFI) FIFA is considering a proposal that would create a “mini World Cup,” for its 211 member associations to be played in between the prestige tournament.

The ambitious, expanded nations league would be held every two years in between World Cups. The league would all but eliminate international friendly matches, and feature an eight team final held in odd numbered years.

An unnamed consortium is offering a $25 billion underwriting to FIFA for 12 years of rights to revamp FIFA’s non-World Cup competitions. Included in the proposal is a total overhaul of the Club World Cup from a yearly event to a much larger quadrennial tournament.

Originally, the idea for a global national league was developed by UEFA and a scaled down version featuring European countries is set to start this fall. Infantino was secretary general of UEFA before being elected FIFA President in 2016. CONCACAF will begin play in a similar nations league this year.

Infantino said the proposal would strengthen the “relationship between fans and the game,” according to a letter to the FIFA Council obtained by the AP. The FIFA president began a meeting yesterday with the six continental confederations, after bringing up the investors at the previous FIFA Council meeting in Bogota, Colombia. Infantino did not disclose the investors due to signing a non-disclosure agreement.

In the UEFA proposal, each confederation would have tiered qualifying tournaments with promotion and relegation. Three European teams and two South American teams would headline the eight team final held every two years.

Of the $25 billion proposal, $13 billion will reportedly go towards the nations league to compensate for the financial windfalls from international friendlies. European countries would reportedly receive up to $75 million for winning the competition based on estimates from Infantino’s time at UEFA, the AP reported.

FIFA would retain 51 percent stake in the league, with the other 49 percent being owned by the unnamed consortium.
“They are not only among the world’s most solid investors,” Infantino said in his letter, “but also very motivated to work with FIFA and the world football community.”

Written by INSIDER reporter Aaron Bauer

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