Gianni Infantino has called an emergency meeting of the FIFA Council to discuss a $ 25 billion offer to reinvent the Club World Cup, according to a New York Times report.
The newspaper reported two weeks ago that FIFA President Infantino presented the proposal for an investment group at the FIFA Council meeting in March in Colombia, but the leaders of the body leader tabled the motion.
According to the announced plan, the annual seven-team event would transform by 2021 into a quadrennial tournament with 24 clubs – 12 from Europe, five from South America and two each from the other confederations.
And in the letter calling for another meeting as soon as possible, Infantino reportedly wrote that he was ready to reveal many details about the proposal that he did not disclose last month.
FIFA confirmed that Infantino held a meeting last Friday with guest officials from some major European clubs and that it was “having ongoing informal discussions with different stakeholders on the subject of future Club World Cups”.
The investment group – which the Financial Times reported includes Japan-based SoftBank, backed by the governments of Saudi Arabia and China – reportedly controls three editions of the Club World Cup, including the ticket sales, broadcast rights, sponsorships and host selection.
The European Club Association, which was not informed of Friday’s meeting, expressed dissatisfaction with any plans to extend the Club World Cup last month and called for fewer matches , while UEFA opposes any project that would compete with its Champions League.
But the plan is likely to be attractive to other continental confederations, as a bigger Club World Cup would give their clubs more opportunities to play against world-famous European teams.
The expansion of the event would also allow Infantino, who is due for re-election next year, to deliver on his campaign pledge to quadruple funding for developing countries.