6/6/2018 6:11:38 PM

European clubs demand discussions with Infantino

European clubs demand discussions with Infantino

Lausanne, Switzerland: The European Clubs Association (ECA) on Wednesday demanded "open and transparent" discussions with FIFA president Gianni Infantino over his plans for new, or enlarged, global club and international competitions.

The governing body of world football is creating a Global Nations League for national teams and has proposed expanding the Club World Cup to 24 teams.

The club association, made up of representatives of every league in Europe, issued a statement after a session in Warsaw. 

It echoed an argument made by UEFA after a meeting which ECA attended in Lyon in May, and said it "expects discussions to be undertaken in an open and transparent and using formal channels of engagement between ECA and FIFA."

"It is essential that ECA is at the heart and fully involved in shaping decisions which will determine the game's future," the statement quoted the president of ECA, Andrea Agnelli, who is also president of Juventus, as saying.

The ECA wants reform of the football calendar.

"The current model needs modernising with special focus required around reviewing the total number of games, release periods, confederation tournaments...and a re-balancing between European and domestic club competitions," said the statement.

Infantino is pushing to revamp the Club World Cup, boosting it from seven clubs to 24 in a four-year format. At the moment it is played every year.

He is also launching a biennial league tournament for nations, the Global Nations League.

Infantino says he has an offer of $25 billion over 12 years for the two competitions from a group of investors from Japan, China and Saudi Arabia.

That money, he promises, will be redistributed to clubs and continental football federations and he has held meetings with representatives of some of Europe's biggest clubs, leading to complaints from bodies such as ECA and the European Leagues (EPFL) that they are being cut out of the process.

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