ZURICH: World football’s governing body FIFA has apologised for sending a wrong impression over a meeting between its own officials and the Union of European Clubs last week.

UEC has been set up as an alternative to the European Club Association which partners European federation UEFA in operating and marketing the Champions League.

FIFA needs to keep on good terms with everyone over concerns about the squeezing of the fixture calendar and the fact that 12 European clubs – including non-ECA members Real Madrid – will be involved in the expanded Club World Cup at the end of next season.

Of the 12 clubs, the only ones who are not members of ECA are Madrid and Juventus, who resigned in the wake of the Super League war and have not yet applied to return.

FIFA said it “regrets and rejects” any indication the meeting with UEC was anything other than to address general questions around its clearing house transfer system.

A statement added: “FIFA would like to take this opportunity to state for the record it recognises only one representative body for club football in Europe, the European Clubs’ Association.”

The meeting came at a particularly moment on the eve of the Super League judgment by a Madrid commercial court.

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