GENEVA: The impotence of Europe’s leagues and clubs when confronted by the power of FIFA and its partners has been conceded by both representative bodies.
The European Cub Association and the Association of European Professional Football Leagues both issued reaction statememts to the winter World Cup switch in which they accepted fait accompli.
A world federation task force, meeting in Doha, has recommended staging the 2022 finals in November and December rather than the preferred compromise of May suggested by the EPFL and the European Club Association.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the ECA, suggested that FIFA should provide a sharp increase in the financial returns the clubs are offered for use of their players.
He said: “Today’s recommendation does not come as a surprise; it was rather expected. For the football family the rescheduling of the FIFA World Cup 2022 presents a difficult and challenging task. All match calendars across the world will have to accommodate such tournament in 2022-23, which requires everyone’s willingness to compromise.
“However, the European clubs and leagues cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling. We expect the clubs to be compensated for the damage that a final decision would cause.”
A similar statement of concession came from the EPFL,
Its own statement said: “The Association of European Professional Football Leagues and the clubs have expressed their disagreement with respect to this proposal which will perturb and cause great damage to the normal running of the European domestic competitions.
“Leagues and clubs have reiterated, once again, their joint solution for holding the World Cup during the month of May. This proposal has been structured on a fact-based study which is totally acceptable from the meteorological point of view by providing reasonable climatic conditions with regard to both players and fans.
“The FIFA Executive Committee will take a final decision with respect to the period of final staging of the World Cup 2022 during its upcoming meeting on March 19.
“During today’s meeting in Doha, the president of the task force has assured that any solution proposed, including the May one jointly presented by the leagues and clubs, will be brought to the final discussion in the FIFA executive committee.”