FIFA to discuss plans for a global nations league and new Club World Cup at council meeting

Plans to revamp the Club World Cup and introduce a global nations league are back on the agenda at the next meeting of the FIFA Council on Friday.

The ruling council will meet in Kigali, Rwanda and president Gianni Infantino's plan for a new "mini-World Cup" and an expanded Club World Cup feature among the items for discussion according
to the agenda document.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment and it was not clear if the plans will be put to a vote.

Infantino wrote to FIFA Council members in May outlining his plans which he says are backed by a "solid and serious" group of investors willing to spend $25 billion over a 12-year cycle starting in 2021.

The letter did not outline the identity of the investors but several media reports have stated that Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group is heading the consortium, while it would be backed financially by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, according to The Times.

However, the plans were strongly opposed by clubs and leagues in Europe, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin saying they were "highly cynical and ruthless mercantilism" and accused FIFA of selling the soul of the game.

The plans did not feature on the agenda of FIFA's congress in Moscow in June.

Infantino's proposals would bring major changes to the international calendar.

The proposals outline what would effectively be a mini-World Cup, featuring eight international teams, every two years in addition to the traditional event.

The tournament, known as the "Final 8," would be the climax of a proposed global nations league competition.

In the May letter, it was suggested that the new tournament would take place every October and/or November of every odd year starting from 2021, while the Confederations Cup, currently staged every four years in a year before the World Cup, would be abolished.

The annual Club World Cup, which currently features seven teams, would be expanded to 24 teams and moved to once every four years, according to the proposals.

The Times reports Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Ajax, AC Milan and Inter Milan would be invited to take part in the first iteration of the new Club World Cup.



Reuters

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