KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: A mildly critical FIFA has expressed its “disapproval” of the projected breakaway European Super League.
The world football federation issued its own appraisal some hours after European governing body UEFA and a number of major leagues and associations had fiercely condemned the project by a dozen major clubs.
However FIFA stood back from issuing any direct threats such as the likelihood that any players involved would automatically debar themselves from selection for their national teams and, by logical extension, the World Cup.
That can only be viewed in the context of FIFA wanting to have probably all of the 12 clubs featuring in its own Club World Cup in the near future.
An expanded 24-team world club championship had been scheduled to be staged in China this coming summer but the Covid-19 pandemic forced its cancellation.
No new date/year has been scheduled but the project remains high on the priority list of FIFA president Gianni Infantino who will not want to upset his potential club partners.
FIFA’s statement said:
FIFA wishes to clarify that it stands firm in favour of solidarity in football and an equitable redistribution model which can help develop football as a sport, particularly at global level, since the development of global football is the primary mission of FIFA.
In our view, and in accordance with our statutes, any football competition, whether national, regional or global, should always reflect the core principles of solidarity, inclusivity, integrity and equitable financial redistribution. Moreover, the governing bodies of football should employ all lawful, sporting and diplomatic means to ensure this remains the case.
Against this background, FIFA can only express its disapproval to a “closed European breakaway league” outside of the international football structures and not respecting the aforementioned principles.
FIFA always stands for unity in world football and calls on all parties involved in heated discussions to engage in calm, constructive and balanced dialogue for the good of the game and in the spirit of solidarity and fair play. FIFA will, of course, do whatever is necessary to contribute to a harmonised way forward in the overall interests of football.
Nothing there to scare the breakaway clubs into second thoughts.