(WFI) UEFA will present a unified position to FIFA on its preferred date to stage the Qatar World Cup, INSIDER understands.
The matter was discussed at a meeting of UEFA’s Professional Football Strategy Council in Nyon on Monday. PFSC members including officials from UEFA’s member associations, the European Club Association, the Association of European Professional Football Leagues and worldwide players’ union FIFPro agreed that “a decision on the date of the tournament will be taken once all stakeholders involved have been consulted”.
Michel Platini, president of European football’s governing body, has previously voiced objections to Sepp Blatter’s proposal to move the Gulf state’s World Cup from summer to a November-December window.
INSIDER understands that UEFA’s senior officials are discussing two other possible World Cup dates, which would limit disruption of the Champions League programme and 2024 European Championship qualifiers.
A FIFA task force led by AFC president Sheikh Salman and overseen by FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is a few months into a year-long consultation with World Cup stakeholders. They are talking to confederations, football associations, leagues, broadcasters and commercial sponsors among other groups.
INSIDER is told that UEFA does not want European football associations “having private auditions with the FIFA task force”, which is thought to be recommending a November-December date.
“UEFA should be consulted down the line as a whole with all member associations in line,” said a UEFA source.
FIFA’s Qatar 2022 working group is scheduled to complete its consultation later this year, but a decision on whether to switch the world Cup from the sizzling desert summer to winter months may not come until early 2015.
The PFSC also criticized the percentage of commissions agents receive for player transfers. Members also raised concerns about third-party ownership and backed UEFA’s push to ban it.
“The body condemned the percentage of agent commissions on transfers and called for it to be regulated,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Representatives at the meeting reiterated their concerns about third-party ownership and supported UEFA’s plan to ban the registration of players subject to third-party ownership arrangements from its competitions, if FIFA does not ban it on a worldwide scale,” it added.
Platini, together with the PFSC, expressed his disappointment that the so-called triple punishment – where a player who denies an opponent a clear goalscoring opportunity in the penalty area, concedes a penalty and is also sent off and suspended – was not changed by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at its recent annual general meeting.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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