(WFI) FIFA rarely holds an emergency meeting outside of its regular calendar. Unless there is a $25 billion deal on the table.
That is the alleged amount that a group of investors has offered football’s governing body in exchange for the rights of a new Club World Cup and a League of Nations tournament.
With so much money at stake for both competitions, FIFA has confirmed it will hold an extraordinary session to discuss the new offer with officials from its six continental confederations.
The meeting could take place as early as this week according to some reports. FIFA has not confirmed the date yet although in mid-June, it will hold its regular scheduled meeting in Moscow to announce among other things, the 2026 World Cup host.
The last time FIFA held an emergency meeting was in 2015 right after the arrests in Zurich of many of its former executives under corruption charges.
Under the current rules, the Club World Cup is played annually with seven clubs, usually continental champions, competing in a knockout format.
FIFA’s expansion plans would result in a tournament with 24 teams that would compete every four years, from 2021 and 2033.
The new proposal establishes that 12 of the 24 teams would be from Europe including the four most recent Champions League winners, the four most recent Champions League runners-up and the four most recent Europa League winners.
South America would have four slots for the four most recent winners of the Copa Libertadores.
The other proposed FIFA tournament, the League of Nations, would replace the current Confederations Cup.
The plans were initially discussed at the last FIFA Council meeting in Bogota in March.
“As agreed in Bogota during the last Council meeting, the Council members were given detailed information on the ongoing discussion with potential partners,” FIFA said in a statement.
The competitions could face opposition from powerful European clubs who are already concerned that the international calendar is too crowded and have called for rest periods. Also UEFA does not seem to favor the idea that could provoke inevitable changes in its most lucrative competitions, namely the Champions League and the Europa League as well as its own future version of the European League of Nations.
Confederations in Asia, South America and Concacaf seem to support a new Club World Club format which allow their own club to compete with the powerhouses in European football.
FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino has said that the money from the new competitions would be spread around the 211 nations belonging to football’s governing body. Infantino is due to re-election next year.
By INSIDER Javier Monne
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