FIFA president Gianni Infantino is reportedly planning to make changes to the Club World Cup by expanding the competition from seven teams to 24 and staging it every four years starting from 2021 in a major alteration to the football calendar.
The news comes from the Associated Press (AP) and it said that FIFA are seeking investment from Chinese, Saudi Arabian and American companies to the tune of $25bn over 12 years.
FIFA would apparently retain a 51% stake in the new venture, which would also create a new international tournament to replace the Confederations Cup, with the money from investors underwriting guaranteed revenues of at least the $25bn outlay.
A 24-team Club World Cup would feature 12 clubs from Europe. There would be a maximum of five games for each entrant and it would take place in summer, either June or July, AP notes.
It is said that FIFA could even explore deals with video streaming services that would bypass the traditional television networks that own World Cup rights.
It is generally expected that UEFA and clubs in Europe may oppose the idea of a new Club World Cup that could threaten the Champions League in terms of global popularity and revenue. As such, there has apparently been resistance from European clubs and leagues so far.
The potential new international competition may bear similarities to UEFA's new Nations League idea and would become FIFA's secondary international tournament.
As yet, there are no guarantees that Infantino will succeed in his efforts.
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