The feared rival European Super League may potentially cause a major split in the football world. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has warned that players involved in any breakaway European Super League would be banned from the World Cup.
A report based on the leaked FIFA documents has revealed that Europe’s 16 prominent clubs, including almost all the major ones like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, have had secret meetings to form a rival, breakaway football league in Europe.
The FIFA president, following the report has warned that any player joining the rival European Super League will be banned from all the FIFA events – the FIFA World Cup, Euro championships and the national leagues sanctioned by the FIFA.
“You are either in or you are out,” Infantino has said in a conversation with a select group of reporters. “If there are players who don’t play organised football then that encompasses everything – national leagues, confederation competitions, the Euros and the World Cup.
“It is up to us to protect football and come up with solutions that benefit clubs and also the world football community.”
The leaked FIFA documents have revealed plans for a new competition featuring 11 ‘founder’ clubs from Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France who would be guaranteed membership for 20 years. The remaining gaps would comprise five ‘initial guests’ who would be invited to participate.
The league has been touted to start as early as 2021, effectively replacing the Uefa Champions League and existing outside the jurisdiction of Uefa.
Infantino, according to a Sportspromedia, has told reporters that the revitalised competition would be “the answer to any attempt to break away from the leagues” because it would “generate much more revenues for the clubs but also much more revenues for solidarity”.
“If the price to pay is to give proper revenues to a club participating in a Club World Cup but this allows us to give US$1 million to Haiti who has nothing, or to Mongolia who has three time zones but only two football pitches, well then we should be I think doing that,” Sportspromedia has reported the FIFA chief as saying.
“In light of the current circumstances in the region we all know about, I would be even happier if this could happen and football can build bridges,” Infantino said.
Infantino added that an expanded tournament would still have to be played within a 28-day timeframe. Fifa is sending specialists to Doha this week to look into the feasibility of changing the format of the tournament, with a final decision expected to be made at a council meeting in Miami in March.