Saudi-backed plan for Club World Cup said to be revived

Proposals for a 24-team Club World Cup will be discussed at FIFA's council meeting in Rwanda later this week
Saudi-backed plan for Club World Cup said to be revived
Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA.
By Staff writer
Tue 23 Oct 2018 02:18 PM

A plan for a global football club competition backed by Saudi Arabian money is reportedly to be revived by FIFA.

The UK's Times newspaper reported that proposals for a 24-team Club World Cup will be discussed at FIFA’s council meeting in Kigali, Rwanda later this week.

FIFA had shelved talks on the proposal but it is back on the agenda, the Times said.

A consortium led by Japan’s SoftBank and backed financially by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund had originally pledged $25 billion for a 12-year deal for the two competitions, the report added.

The Times said that the favoured blueprint of the Club World Cup would put Manchester United and Liverpool in line to be among 12 European clubs taking part in the inaugural competition, which would be held every four years from 2021.

Saudi Arabia is making a big push to expand its influence in sport, especially in football, with Adel Ezzat resigning as head of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to prepare for a bid to become the president of the Asian Football Confederation.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Ajax and the two Milan clubs are also in line to be invited to take part in the first Club World Cup, the report added.

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