ZURICH: FIFA’s ‘$25bn task force’ has held a first formal meeting to study the way ahead on proposals to revamp the Club World Cup and create a Global Nations League writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The taskforce was created by agreement with the world federation’s governing council in October after previous attempt by president Gianni Infantino to push ahead on negotiations with a mystery financier had been blocked repeatedly.

European federation UEFA has insisted it cannot support proposals whose financial terms and investors remain secret.

The task force is being led by Infantino and comprises the presidents of the six regional confederations.

A FIFA statement explaining the latest development said:

Over the course of the next three months, representatives of the six confederations and FIFA will consider the sporting matters related to the possibility of establishing an overhauled FIFA Club World Cup and a worldwide Nations League.

The task force responsible for analysing the possibility of establishing an overhauled FIFA Club World Cup, as well as a worldwide Nations League, held its first meeting today, 9 December 2018, in Paris.

In order to further strengthen the ongoing consultation process, about the prospect of organising the two new competitions, in October 2018 the FIFA Council decided to set up a dedicated task force, whose work should be overseen by the Bureau of the Council.

The task force is composed of members appointed by each of the six confederations — AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA — and FIFA, and is chaired by FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Football) Zvonimir Boban.

The group is entrusted with considering the technical and sporting elements related to establishing one competition for clubs and one for national teams. This means:

–  For the revamped FIFA Club World Cup: tournament calendar, start date, format, number of teams, access list and slot allocations;

–  For the worldwide Nations League: tournament calendar, start date, format, participation and impact on the confederations qualifiers.

Following its assessment, the task force will prepare separate proposals for the two competitions — if deemed necessary, more than one for each — to be presented to the FIFA Council at its next meeting in Miami on 15 March.

During today’s meeting, the members of the task force were also informed about parallel consultation that will also take place with other stakeholders including clubs, players and leagues.

“The work of this task force is another important step in the consultation process to understand the landscape in which competitions like these would be implemented and what impact they would have,” said FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Football) Zvonimir Boban. “The task force should provide the FIFA Council with a complete breakdown of the sporting elements to be taken into consideration when making a decision on such an important matter for the future of football.”

The next meeting of the task force is scheduled for mid-January 2018.