Federation Internationale de Football Association votes for new Club World Cup, Euro clubs confirm boycott

Aubrey Yates
March 16, 2019

Friday's meeting of FIFA's ruling council made a decision to "explore this possibility further and analyse if a joint expansion proposal that meets all the necessary requirements can be submitted to the FIFA Council and the FIFA Congress in June".

Europe's top clubs have said they will boycott FIFA's proposed new Club World Cup in a major blow to Gianni Infantino's plans to revamp the competition.

"But it was our responsibility to take a decision because we have to deal with the organisational matters - it is only two years away". "The best teams should have this world platform".

"We have the duty to look into it, 90 percent are in favour of an increase but it's not as easy as that".

The women's under-17 World Cup has 16 nations and Das had said that they can host matches at "just four cities".

Qatar would not be forced to share games with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates unless diplomatic relations improve.

However the tournament may well end up being launched without representation from Europe. "I was very pleased by the reaction of Qatar". We can not just take [a] simple decision.

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"The Gulf Crisis is not going to solved by playing football", said James Dorsey, a researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

But Infantino highlighted a Federation Internationale de Football Association feasibility study that said the expanded format is possible for 2022, so long as Qatar brings on board a regional partner to provide two-to-four more stadiums needed to host the additional games required.

European clubs have publicly resisted FIFA's bid to replace the current seven-team annual Club World Cup, which is played annually in December, with an expanded quadrennial version in June-July.

A document sent to the FIFA Council says its members will be asked if they agree with the report's conclusion that World Cup expansion is "feasible provided that neighboring countries host some matches".

UEFA, European football's governing body, is unlikely to fight Infantino's plans with the proposal expected to be passed on to a further meeting ahead of June's congress.

"We should enjoy what is coming", he said. European club seasons typically start around mid-August. "We want to have an exciting competition, we want to have a prestigious competition, we want to have an inclusive competition and we will have this in the new Club World Cup starting in 2021". He had hoped to gain approval for his plan at Friday's meeting of the ruling council in Miami, but has opted to buy himself more time.

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