COPENHAGEN: The body which represents Europe’s football leagues has stated its opposition to proposals being considered by world federation FIFA to launch a global nations league and revamp the Club World Cup.
The European Leagues, formerly known as the European Professional Football Leagues, fell into line with European members of the governing council of the world federation who are alarmed by the attempt of FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino to muscle in on the lucrative club competitions market.
Earlier this week FIFA set up a working group to study its proposals in response to a $25bn offer from a consortium of Chinese and Asian interests.
A statement from the European Leagues urged European federation UEFA to join the World League Forum, the European Club Association and international players union FIFPro to “firmly oppose and together stop this unilateral initiative from FIFA and the process which lacks of transparency and a proper consultation with the stakeholders.”
In fact, the nations league would take over a new competition being launched already by UEFA to fill up the national team friendly match fixture dates.
The FIFA proposal has been cautiously welcomed elsewhere in the world game because of the possibility of massive expansion of the development investment available for distribution.
European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson said: “This process reminds me of the way the ‘old FIFA’ acted which I thought we had left behind. What we have experienced is a clear lack of consultation and transparency, and an intentional manipulation of the decision making structure by FIFA in presenting these proposals.”