Infantino Forges Ahead with Club World Cup Plans

The Associated Press reports that FIFA president Gianni Infantino is aggressively promoting his plan for a Club World Cup.

The competition would be an annual tournament.

The plan is being met with resistance by the Champions League, which views the Club World Cup as a threat to the lofty perch the Champions League enjoys, or at least perceives.

Infantino was initially behind a plan to have a 24-team Club World Cup every four years.

Switching higher to an annual tournament will be discussed at an upcoming FIFA Council meeting.

Infantino’s plans have hit a brick wall so far since March, even though the finances seem to be in place, a $25 billion income guarantee from a group of banks that includes Japan’s SoftBank.

It is hard to envision any person or group giving a cold reception to that sort of money, but there are many times in the realm of sports where it seems that inflated egos overrule business and economic considerations.

Infantino would also like to see a global Nations League tournament to be held every two years and the elimination of the yearly seven-team Club World Cup in December and the Confederations Cup, which is held every four years.

The UEFA-operated Champions League does not want to see 12 of its clubs raided for Infantino’s plan.

Infantino’s plans for the upcoming FIFA Council meeting in Rwanda do not seem an attempt to get final approval, but to gain a consensus that the Club World Cup and Confederations Cup need to be scrapped.

His proposal has been endorsed by Real Madrid, Barcelona and a few others, but the European Club Association objects on the basis that it would like to see players’ workloads decreased, rather than increased.

Other regional confederations have indicated support for Infantino’s proposal, but getting UEFA to go along might pose an obstacle that not even $25 billion can overcome.