FIFA Boss Gianni Infantino Would Ban Players In 'European Super League'

Ruben Hill
November 9, 2018

Speaking to journalists at the Zurich headquarters of world football's governing body on Wednesday, Infantino offered a list of competitions - which also featured the European Championships and domestic leagues - that players could be barred from, declaring: "Either you are in or you are out - this includes everything".

"People are still quite reasonable", he added.

Infantino said the Club World Cup was his answer to any breakaway attempt, presenting it as a competition that would generate more revenues for the clubs but also benefit the soccer community.

Infantino also said the 2022 World Cup must be played in 28 days even if it is expanded to 48 teams and acknowledged that would make it even harder to push through his preferred vision of a bigger tournament.

Infantino revealed plans in May for a new Global Nations League and a revamped Club World Cup which he says are backed by a "solid and serious" group of investors willing to spend $US25 billion ($34.36 billion) over a 12-year cycle starting in 2021.

Such a project is part of a proposal that would also see a global version of the UEFA Nations League introduced in worldwide football.

However, Infantino has himself come under scrutiny as part of the Football Leaks scandal for his alleged role in supposedly helping cash-rich Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain circumvent Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Man City have called the claims "an organized and clear attempt to damage the club's reputation", while PSG said the club "has always acted in full compliance with the laws and regulations enacted by sports institutions".

Infantino, the head of UEFA at the time, said: "We were doing our job and saved the system and we saved European club football".

"We worked with the information we had at the time".

Federation Internationale de Football Association will decide in March whether to add 16 teams in 2022 but Infantino said the chances of an expansion were "certainly small" because of the scheduling issues and the fact that host Qatar would need help from neighboring countries to stage games.

"I was positive about it from the beginning because I think if we can increase the number of teams it is good for football".

The Club World Cup, now an annual tournament with seven teams, could become a four-yearly event featuring 24 clubs instead.

He signalled that should the tournament be expanded, Qatar would have to share hosting duties, potentially even to regional rivals who are now blockading Qatar amid a bitter spat.

"We are in discussion with Qatar", said Infantino, who said the tournament would need to spread to neighbouring countries.

This matter has been on the table for twenty years. There are documents. But it is our responsibility to find ways for football to be united.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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