The New York Times reported Wednesday that an investment group has made an offer worth $25 billion over the course of 12 years to FIFA for the rights to expand the Club World Cup in addition to creating a new league for national teams from around the world.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino reportedly revealed the proposal to the FIFA Council in March at their meeting in Colombia. While he revealed some details of the plan, Infantino declined to name the interested investors, instead choosing to refer to them merely as investors from the Middle East and Asia. The board reportedly balked at the idea and asked for more information before moving forward with the idea.
If the plan were to go through, FIFA would reportedly give up control of the Club World Cup to the unnamed consortium, including broadcast rights, ticket sales and host city/nation selection.
There is already a separate written proposal on the table regarding potential expansion of the Club World Cup, which currently only includes 7 teams. The new plan would expand the tournament to 24 clubs by 2021, including 12 from Europe, 5 from South America and 2 from each of the world’s other major federations.
However, the European Club Association was vocal against the potential expansion, and even requested that FIFA cut down on the number of games without adding more teams to the mix.
UEFA (Europe) and CONCACAF (North/Central America and Caribbean) are reportedly working together to create new “Nations Leagues,” which would essentially be leagues set up to replace international friendly matches. A global international league, as reportedly proposed by the unnamed investment group, would potentially expand on the “Nations Leagues” idea.
Infantino wants the Club World Cup to be played every 4 years beginning in 2021, with a different competition for national teams every 2 years. FIFA would reportedly have a 51 percent stake in the new venture with the mysterious investors.
Currently, the Club World Cup takes place every December. The UEFA Champions League winner plays in the tournament with 5 other continental club champions as well as the champion from the host nation. The 2017 tournament, which was played in Abu Dhabi, reportedly pulled in about $37 million in revenue.
The new version of the Club World Cup would reportedly likely mean an end to the Confederations Cup, which is a national team tournament played in the host nation of the upcoming World Cup one year prior to the World Cup. For example, Germany won this past summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia, a year ahead of this summer’s World Cup in the same country.
FIFA has sought a quick answer from the Council on the matter because the offer is reportedly only available for 60 days. UEFA released a statement saying, “As Gianni did not provide any concrete details on what such an offer would entail and which entity would have been behind it, we have no comment to make on the topic.”
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