FIFA Council members will be asked on Friday to approve a pilot tournament for an expanded 24-team Club World Cup in June-July 2021 featuring eight European participants, but plans for a worldwide Nations League are on hold, The Associated Press has learned. An overhaul of the current seven-team annual Club World Cup, normally in December, is being pursued by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to generate new interest and greater revenue despite ongoing opposition from Europe, with the long-term vision of the bigger tournament being staged every four years. A 17-page FIFA report on the future of competitions does not specifically mention the financing plans which sparked concern among members of the FIFA Council last year, only that the governing body wants to “ensure that the generated revenues stay within football and do not go to third parties.” Infantino informed council members last March of a $25 billion offer from investors, led by Japan’s SoftBank, to guarantee funding to overhaul the Club World Cup and introduce mini-World Cups for national teams every two years in a worldwide Nations League. Of the funding package, an enlarged Club World Cup was guaranteed to deliver FIFA at least $12 billion in revenue 2021-33. But now FIFA… Read full this story
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