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FIFA increase World Cup payments

By primenewsghana
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FIFA has increased its payments to clubs for the release of players for each of the next two men’s World Cups to £298.74m ($355m).

For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, clubs received a combined £170.58m ($209m).

The move is the central component of a new Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and the European Clubs’ Association, which will run to 2030.

The next men’s World Cup, hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, takes place in June and July 2026.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Uefa counterpart Aleksander Ceferin were present at the ECA general assembly in Budapest for the announcement.

It brings to an end months of bickering between the two bodies, who had initially been at loggerheads over Infantino’s desire to host a biennial World Cup, an idea that was met with huge opposition.

An expanded 32-team Club World Cup, featuring 12 European teams, has been agreed in its place, with Uefa and ECA support guaranteeing this will be put into the international calendar from 2025 despite opposition from leagues and unease among player unions.

Agreement has also been reached over the concept of a Women’s Club World Cup, although the format of this is still to be decided.

In addition, the ECA has backed FIFA’s plan for a player welfare taskforce, which players’ union FIFpro believes is essential.

The new agreed international match calendar will also include an annual match between the Champions League winner and the winner of an intercontinental playoff.

Infantino said: “This is a significant day for the future of football and its long-term stability. We are very happy to renew and strengthen our cooperation agreement with ECA, an important stakeholder representing clubs from all over Europe.

“To have the new international match calendar endorsed by ECA provides the necessary balance between club and national team football. We have exciting projects ahead, including the new FIFA Club World Cup in 2025 and the new FIFA Women’s Club World Cup.

“A close collaboration with clubs in Europe, and the rest of the world, will be essential for the success of those events.”

The precise format for the Club World Cup is to be determined but as the four winners prior to the tournament up to 2024 will be included, Chelsea are already guaranteed entry after winning the 2021 Champions League.

In addition, ECA chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of Paris St-Germain, touched on the close relationship between his organisation and European governing body Uefa in his opening address.

This included another rebuke at Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are awaiting a ruling from the European Courts of Justice over Uefa’s monopoly position, which they believe has put barriers in the way of their cherished European Super League concept.

“In this next era of the ECA, I am determined that we will be recognized for driving financial prosperity and distribution for the entire football pyramid, not just the elite,” Al-Khelaifi said.

“Thinking back to the sorry events in April 2021 – which we should not forget – the ECA’s relationship with Uefa has changed completely in the past two years.

“Today, it is founded on trust, respect and common interest. As a result, we are both much stronger. Thank you President Ceferin.”