AP Source: New FIFA Events Won’t Get Ok Before World Cup
(AP) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino has discarded plans to seek approval for a $25-billion overhaul of competitions before the World Cup amid resistance from UEFA, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Faced with a deadline from a consortium of global investors, Infantino wanted the go-ahead from his FIFA Council by now to push ahead with plans for an expanded Club World Cup and the Nations League, a mini-World Cup every two years.
While the proposals were backed by leading clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, there has been opposition from UEFA, which expressed "serious reservations" about the rush to a decision on the biggest revamp of football competitions this century.
The lack of consensus prevented Infantino from calling an extraordinary council meeting to meet a 60-day deadline from a consortium of global investors who are willing to underwrite a guaranteed $25 billion in income from the new competitions.
FIFA has secured an extension from the consortium to continue negotiations with football stakeholders to overcome initial hostility, the person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private negotiations.
Infantino has to give notice of at least 14 days to convene a meeting of the FIFA Council, which means an additional gathering to advance the competition plans could happen in Russia during the June 14-July 15 World Cup.
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