DOHA: FIFA president Gianni Infantino, responding to one facet of the latest Football Leaks revelations, has warned that any players competing with clubs in a European Super League would be banned from the game as regulated by the world federation.
Infantino, whose work with FIFA and previously with European federation UEFA has been the subject of controversy, was addressing a media briefing.
He said: “You are either in or you are out. If there are players who don’t play organised football then that encompasses everything — national leagues, confederation competitions, the Euros and the World Cup.
“We have seen for many years these attempts to break away outside of the structures, going back to the 1990s. It is up to us to protect football and come up with solutions that benefit clubs and also the world football community.”
Infantino’s presidential predecessor Sepp Blatter issued a similar warning in 1998 after leading clubs discussed a similar breakaway league.
German news magazine Der Spiegel reported last week that plans for a Super League, involving top clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United, were back on the table.
The magazine shared access to the documents with Reuters and more than a dozen other media outlets in cooperation with European Investigative Collaborations. None was invited to the briefing, apparently because of the Football Leaks connection.
Infantino said the Club World Cup was his answer to any breakaway attempt, presenting it as a competition that would generate more revenues for the clubs but also benefit the entire world game.
He added: “If clubs organise a breakaway Super League, who benefits? The clubs. If FIFA organises a Club World Cup, UEFA continues to organise the Champions League and the Premier League continues to organise the Premier League then the clubs benefit but also 211 member associations.”