The Malta Independent 18 October 2018, Thursday

Barcelona, Real Madrid back FIFA's proposal for 24-team Club World Cup

Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 17:00 Last update: about 5 months ago

Reigning champion Real Madrid is supporting plans to expand the Club World Cup to 24 teams following a meeting at FIFA.

Madrid is part of the European Club Association, which has voiced concerns about FIFA President Gianni Infantino's proposals for a quadrennial Club World Cup to replace the annual tournament and pushed for players to get more mandatory rest periods.

Europe's top domestic competitions, including the English Premier League and Spain's La Liga, have also opposed FIFA's plans.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Madrid, winner of the last two editions of the Club World Cup, is endorsing Infantino's vision of the tournament being played every four years in June or July with 12 representatives from Europe.

Madrid's director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, believes fans would prefer the new tournament over the current seven-team format.

"We honestly believe it could be an attractive competition," he said. "We see it that way as do other important clubs in Europe, who see the possibility favorably."

A FIFA briefing document on the project said clubs would share prize money totaling 75 percent of at least $3 billion revenue from each Club World Cup edition which would be guaranteed by a consortium of investors.

The 2017 edition in the United Arab Emirates earned $37 million revenue for FIFA, with Madrid the European representative alongside the other continental champions and the host nation's league winner.

Barcelona has given its backing to FIFA's plans to expand the Club World Cup to a 24-team competition played every four years.

Barcelona's board of directors says the expanded tournament would be "exciting, dynamic, inclusive and prestigious."

The Liga champion regards as favorable the subsequent elimination of "two FIFA competitions, the Confederations Cup (for national teams) and the current Club World Cup" played every year by seven clubs in December.

Barcelona says FIFA's plans would also "create a global platform for clubs to contribute to the growth of their brands."

Rival Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid has also said it likes the proposal.

 

  • don't miss