La Liga Boss At Odds With Infantino

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(WFI) La Liga chief Javier Tebas is a straight shooter when it comes to questioning Gianni Infantino’s new FIFA.
Infantino faces a lot of opposition for many of his latest initiatives (FIFA)

“It seems we’re going back to the days of the old FIFA, where decisions were made in very small committees and no transparency and all the people affected were not involved,” Tebas said in a recent interview with the Financial Times.

Tebas is going after FIFA’s new proposal to add a 24-team Club World Cup to be staged every four years and a Nations League every two years in what is being viewed as a mini World Cup.

A consortium of several international investors is behind both projects with the promise to generate for FIFA $25 billion in revenue over the next 12 years.

“My obligation is to protect the football industry in Spain and these tournaments would damage the football league and the football industry here,” Tebas added.

At this point, the new Club World Cup and the League of Nations has the approval of most of Europe's top clubs including Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“I’ve already said to Real Madrid and Barcelona in regard to this: there will be food now and hunger tomorrow,” Tebas added.

“This will cause a deconstructing of the national league. We already have this problem in Europe. We have to face it and find a solution because the Club World Cup will make it even worse.”

Infantino is said to have met with representatives from a few top European clubs and even though he wanted to approve both new tournaments in the next few weeks, new reports suggest that FIFA’s president will wait until after the World Cup in Russia to gain more time to overcome the opposition he still faces.

Aside from Tebas, UEFA has been very vocal in expressing its criticism to adding more tournaments to the already crowded European football season which would also dilute the prominence the body’s tournaments presently enjoy around the world, namely the Champions League and the European Championships.

After a meeting in Lyon last week before the Europa League final, UEFA’s professional football strategy council (PFSC) said that its members  “unanimously expressed serious reservations about the (FIFA) process …  and in particular the hasty timing and lack of concrete information”.

The PFSC, chaired by the UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, includes the European Club Association, the European Professional Football Leagues and the European division of the players’ union, FIFPro.

The confrontation between Infantino and UEFA comes at a time when FIFA’s president is already trying to gain support for his re-election due next year.

Infantino is also fighting a different battle with some African football bosses who suspect the Swiss is attempting to fix next  month’s vote for the host of the 2026 World Cup in favor of the North American bid headed by the USA against the candidacy of Morocco.

Additionally FIFA’s president is seeking to introduce the expected extension of the World Cup from 32 teams to 48 as early as 2022 in Qatar even though that Persian Gulf country does not have the resources at this point to accommodate such expansion.

Homepage photo: Wikimedia

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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